All entrepreneurs know the feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Or the hopelessness which sets in when you’re working to a deadline and finishing seems impossible. What Amanda Cook suggests sounds counter-intuitive. But the times that this tip seems impossible to follow is when you need it the most.
More energizing than coffee, 5 minutes of mindfulness will reduce your stress, lift your mood and improve your concentration.

Mindfulness is nothing new – it’s an ancient practice and a recent study from 2010 by Johns Hopkins University showed that mindfulness practice can improve your ability to sustain concentration. It is the practice of maintaining a calm awareness of your body, feelings and thoughts. It’s an awareness you can apply during the day to put your thoughts in perspective, relax and create focus.

How? Take a slow breath, and take your awareness out of your head, and into your body. Mindfulness is like taking a giant step back to get perspective on where you are, how you’re feeling and what you’re doing. It’s getting out of the stream of thoughts in your head, and into the present moment.

Go to a location where you won’t be disturbed. Set a timer for 5 minutes.

Close your eyes.

Now, start to focus on your breathing. Don’t change your breathing, just notice it. Whenever you have a thought creep into your mind (everyone does), just tell yourself “that’s a thought, I’ll deal with it after” and let it go. Return to watching your breath.

The goal is not to zone out, but rather, to become very aware of your body and your breath, rather than being lost in your thoughts.

That’s it – although this practice is so simple, it’s not easy at first. Your mind will wander. You’ll feel impatient. This simple practice of becoming aware throughout the day will do wonders for your focus and your stress levels. Practice makes this technique easier to use in stressful situations. If you practice for a simple 5 minutes per day, you’ll have a tool you can use anywhere, anytime, during times of stress and overwhelm.

How do you grab 5 minutes for yourself ?

Abstract taken from an article by Amanda Cook. Amanda is based in London and has survived 3 overseas relocations as well as extensive international business travel. Amanda now shares her expertise in natural lifestyle, health and wellness with others.

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