Does your mind get stuck circling the same idea? Have you found yourself imagining each of your responsibilities, one by one, until you feel them combine into a single source of anxiety? It can be difficult to keep track and maintain control. Now, this kind of stress isn’t limited to things we ‘need to do.’ Quite often, we also have a chaotic mental list of things we ‘need to feel’ or that we simply can’t stop mulling over. Sometimes, we feel everything at once, making it impossible to decipher which thoughts are the root cause of negative feelings. And other times, we feel distinctly different from morning to night, but we’re too close to our own thought patterns to recognize that they’re forming.
In the same way that jotting down what you need from the grocery store helps you keep your day in check — putting words onto paper relieves your brain of pressure. Pressure to sort through complex emotions. Pressure to remember what to be grateful for, and what to let go of.
Take ten minutes each day to lay out your thoughts into a journal. It can be a blank notepad or a structured, mindfulness-ready diary — but avoid keeping multiple journals on the go at once.
Check in at the same time each day to develop a habit. Ground yourself by noticing and listing out the details of this moment that evoke all five senses.
Try to give a name to what you feel. Examine why certain events of the day have triggered these feelings of stress or anxiety.
It’s a time for private self-reflection — so remember that. No one will ever read your words, so try to release yourself from embarrassment or fear of judgment. Once your feelings have been written down in a tangible place, your mind becomes free to focus on this moment — and truly enjoy it.
Meditation helps you to focus and concentrate better.
Our minds have the strength to solve exceptionally difficult problems, and play host to the most drastic highs and lows of the human experience. So it’s no wonder the brain needs a little maintenance from time to time.
While working on something important, you might find yourself jumping from thought to thought, stopping you from engaging with the present moment. Multi-tasking is infamously difficult – but sometimes, focusing on one task alone is just as hard. Meditation is a great way to build up your brain’s tolerance and endurance in the battle of work versus distraction. It’s normal for the mind to wander, but it can be trained not to run away entirely. The more we meditate, the more skillful we become at letting intrusive thoughts wash over and away from us. But we’re all human — sometimes, we slip up and follow that distracting thought regardless.
The most important strength of a well-trained meditative mind is this — it learns to skip the judgment that comes after a mistake. It refuses to beat itself up over the fact it lost concentration. After all, this shame only leads to worsened focus, so it has no use. Meditation helps us to let go of this shame, leaving us with more energy to concentrate on the task at hand.
Meditation isn’t always easy. You must learn to focus on the depth of your breath, the sensation of your body, and the racing of your thoughts. Once you’ve controlled all three, it becomes easier to be mindful. You can finally be present — which is the exact quality you need to develop when attempting to stay focused.
Take some time to meditate — whether it be guided by a professional or by you alone — each day. Like any skill, it will improve over time, and I’m certain that you’ll notice the benefits of your newfound focus soon spilling over into your everyday work.
Check out our Mindfulness Journaling video up on YouTube - https://youtu.be/G3AM3ma2RcQ