In this day and age, having your mind completely focused on the task at hand is rare and difficult. We are constantly surrounded by distractions …. Texting/emailing while talking or having dinner, working while ‘listening’, eating whilst driving. Whilst this ability to multi-task is often praised on social media (#mumlife #killingit), what we are doing is indulging in behaviours that have a negative impact on our own happiness and how important we make others feel.
We can correct these behaviours influence those around us to not only lead mindful lives, but to also lead mentally healthy lives. A few tips on how to do this is below:
DEVICES ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH REAL SOCIALISATION
We are all guilty of it and it is a habit for many to reach for your phone to check for messages, emails and social media whilst in mid-conversation, at dinner with family or out with friends.
It is proven that when you are distracted the people you are with also become distracted which only serves to diminish social engagement and undermine the ability to establishing meaningful personal connections.
So if you are guilty of this behaviour, and let’s face it most of us are, put the devices away or on flight mode when you are in a social or family situation and give the people you are with the attention and focus they deserve.
NATURE … LET THE OUTSIDE IN
Not all distractions are bad. There is no doubt that our time spent outdoors and immersed in nature has diminished significantly over the years. There are numerous psychological and physiological benefits that can be derived from outdoor activities. This could be as simple as a walk in a local park, a trip to the beach or something more extreme like canyoning or rock climbing.
No matter what it is make sure that you take the time to get the balance of indoor/outdoor right. Nature is free to enjoy, is just outside your front door and allows us to escape the hectic nature of our everyday lives. Not to mention that it is a great way to spend time with family & friends.
With the increasing pressure placed on us in modern times it is easy to become all about work and not have sufficient time for family.
If you are struggling to find the time to spend with your family … try and get into a routine of a set day, time or meal every week that is solely for family.
Knowing what’s really going on in each other’s lives … the good, the bad and the ugly … can only be discovered by spending quality time together. This is when the walls of the week come down, we bond and share.
This one is more a source of guilt than any other. With pressures on our time meaning we are barely finding time to get outdoors or spend with family … how do we not feel guilty about making some time for ourselves.
The reality is finding some time for yourself does not need to negatively impact any of your other goals. In reality it likely makes you more effective at work, a better parent, spouse and friend. The ripple effect.
Me time doesn’t need to be a big deal. It might be 10 or 15 minutes a day where you meditate, go for a walk, sit in a park or even at your desk listening to your favourite music or reading your favourite book. It might be something longer less often like going to the gym or playing a sport.
Whatever it is … it is important. This time recharges our batteries, improves our mental health and gives us time to simply observe the world and allow free thought and innovation to flourish.
Understandably this may seem like a whole load of hippy, new-age rubbish that is not compatible with how we live today. But maybe the way most of us live today is not compatible with living a healthy, happy, balanced life and we need to take steps to fix that incompatibility so that we are focused, engaged, healthier and happier. This ensures the ripple effect on those around us is a positive one.