Pro Tip for Focus: Microdose Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice that involves paying focused and non-judgmental attention to the present moment. Research shows that mindfulness promotes metacognitive awareness, helps with focus and decreases rumination, and enhances attention through gains in working memory.
Benefits of mindfulness for leaders are plentiful:
- Better concentration and focus
- Stress reduction
- Improved mental health (decrease in anxiety, depression, etc)
- Stronger emotional regulation
- Increased self-awareness
- Improved relationships and quality of presence
- Improved sleep quality
- Enhanced resilience
Realistically, even after a long meditation and mindful awareness walking into work, chances are that you might get pulled in multiple directions that throw you off. With the amount of changes that we are all facing in the modern age, cultivating a practice to improve our clarity and focus while reducing stress is a worthwhile investment. On those particularly tough days when you’re scattered or overloaded, I suggest you microdose mindfulness throughout the day.
Here are some ways you can do that. You can easily fit them in between meetings or during lunchtime.
- Find your feet and feel every sensation of your feet touching the ground. (2-5 mins)
- Look out at the sky and notice the cloud formations today, the wind, the particular climate. (2-5 mins)
- Checkin with your body and stretch (and hold) areas that are feeling tense. Keep your attention on your body as you release tension. (2-5 mins)
- Slow down your breath and count 4 seconds in, 7 seconds hold the breath, 8 seconds out. Do this 6-7 times. (2 mins)
Bring your full presence to these exercises and allow your body to relax while you do them. Notice if you have tension in your jaw, hands, shoulders, and allow them to release.
You’ll find that these short practices really help and add up. It doesn’t take long for most of us to re-center and get back into the present moment. As with anything, it’s about creating the habit of connecting with our body, nature, and our breath.