Stress abounds in this world.
And far too often, we let ourselves be swept along with it.
Consider for just a moment:
- Do you have the habit of multitasking—at work, at school, at home? Do you really think that makes you more productive?
- Does social media add to your daily stress and encourage distraction? How often has that kept you from being mindful to offline conversations?
- Have you ever had someone tune you out because they were too focused on mundane things? How did that make you feel?
Perhaps you’re not doing it on purpose, but in one way or another, you’re letting the troubles and worries of this world keep you focusing on the right things.
And even when you realize what a nuisance this onslaught of stress is becoming, you may not know what to do to free yourself from its restraints.
Mindfulness can help you in a twofold way in this harried world:
- It allows you to stay on task when you’re working, doing chores, or focusing on school work.
- It helps you pay attention to the most important things in life—family, friends, and yourself—and not get inundated with troubles, pressures, and anxiety.
It may seem simplistic, but being mindful can truly aid you to hone and harness your focus.
Tips to Being Mindful and Staying Focused on the Right Things
Remember, mindfulness means that you’re aware of your thoughts—all the voices that are in your head, including those that are a distracting nuisance—in the present moment, that you can see how these thoughts can potentially pull your attention away from what’s important, and that this awareness allows you to respond by consciously countering their pull.
Tip #1: Begin the day with gratitude
It probably doesn’t take much for your mind to jump to all the things you have to accomplish each day. But instead: When you open your eyes, take a few minutes to simply enjoy what you’re grateful for. Snuggle against your partner before rising, take in their scent. Gaze at the rays of sun flooding in through the window. Smile back at it. Allow your mind to linger on the things you have in your life that you’re thankful for, that you appreciate. Then take a deep breath, stretch, and begin your day relaxed and being mindful of your surrounding all day long.
Tip #2: Open your mind to the unique
Throughout the day, the world can pass by so quickly, you hardly notice things. It’s all the same humdrum. But instead: When you go about your daily routine, refuse to believe that anything is ordinary. Pay attention to the details, the novelty, in your surroundings. Stop looking without truly seeing your world. Being mindful helps you train your attention to seek out the unique. It lets you be curious and connect with things and people in a much deeper way—especially your love ones.
Tip #3: Take a break in nature
Stress easily robs you of energy and positivity. Before your know it, your mood takes a nosedive and you can’t stop yawning. But instead: When you simply can’t focus on that work project any longer or stare one more minute at that computer screen, take a break. Get out of the building and takes some deep breaths of fresh air. Go for a stroll. Let the sunshine warm your skin and the breeze ruffle your hair. Notice the colors of the flowers, the sounds of birds, the smell of freshly mowed grass. Being actively present when you’re out in nature helps boost your mood and regain the focus you need.
Tips #4: Delay taking a load off
As so many of us, you probably love coming home, flopping into your favorite armchair, and dumping all the complaints you have about your day on whoever is listening. But instead: When you come home after a hard day of work, delay off-loading on your loved ones. The negativity can easily push them away. Rather, take some time to properly greet your family and focus on reconnecting with them. Appreciate their presence, the comfort of your home, and just letting go of the work worries for a while. And once you’ve transitioned lovingly, mindfulness will help you be considerate, sharing stories of the day and not dominating the conversation.
Tip #5: Shower others with attention
The pressures from this world can have you so on edge that you may actually believe criticism over compliments. That can completely destroy your confidence. But instead: When you look for opportunities to lavish others with loving and kind compliments—be that at home or at work—you can actually boost your own self-esteem. Being mindful and shifting your attention to what people do right—including yourself—will help you to focus on acceptance and compassion.
Being mindful becomes easier the more you use it to focus your attention on the important things. And where your focus is, there’s your energy also. So, why not commit to implementing these five tips for a month and see how your ability to focus on the right things can improve.