Training for Mindfulness in Challenging Times
The term “mindfulness” has been used a lot in the past several years – and not just in yoga studios and meditation classes. It’s made its way into the workplace with companies offering online therapy that includes mindfulness training – and no doubt it’s popped onto your podcast suggestions or cropped up in the form of stoic quotes next to pictures of lakes on your Instagram feed.
Regardless of where and how often you’re seeing the term – mindfulness is present. Excuse the pun. But, that’s the whole thing. Mindfulness is all about being present.
So, we’re all familiar with the word. But what about the million-dollar question:
How can I be mindful in a time like this?!?
There’s absolutely no hiding from it. This year has put a lot of new stresses and anxieties on everyone’s plates.
Like most people, I’m feeling more anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed by the world and its news than ever before. If you’re anything like me, you’re somehow torn between feeling a human responsibility to be educated on what’s happening everywhere and a massive urge to throw your phone – with all those social media logins and news apps – into the nearest lake, never to be seen again.
Wow – I felt a wave of freedom just typing that out.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s very important to know what’s unfolding on our planet.
But if it’s 3am and you’re reading every single comment in a pointless argument on Twitter, it might be time to reassess how you take in information. Seriously.
The thing is, our phones can be a major source of anxiety. World news aside, even the comparisons you draw with people seemingly living their “best lives” all over your timeline, achieving goals you’d never even dream up from your sofa, are bad for you. Just like your ex, these comparisons are toxic.
A lesson we’ve all learned this year is – we might not always be able to physically run from our problems. For example: last year, when I was in a tough spot in my personal life and hitting a bit of a dark patch – I got on a plane to California, my happy place. I rented a car and drove through the desert. I saw loads of cool things and met a number of interesting people. It mentally reset me.
This year, I wouldn’t have had that luxury.
And this is why, in my opinion, mindfulness isn’t important – it’s vital. Having control over your thoughts and emotions gives you control over your life. Acknowledging and even welcoming negative thoughts rather than pretending they’re not there gives you power.
You can trust me. I’m proud to say I’ve spent the last year and a half getting stuck into this topic. I’ve read a lot of the books, heard the talks, researched the speakers, screenshotted the quotes, and here’s what I found.
Being grateful doesn’t come naturally. Putting your phone away is hard. Changing your influences in order to limit negativity isn’t an overnight thing. And staying calm and choosing when not to respond or react… you guessed it, it takes work.
Help in Your Search for Mindfulness Training
This new mindfulness collection from Litmos isn’t going to be condescending or shallow. We’re not just ticking the mindfulness box to say we’ve done it. And you won’t come out of it like “Meh, that was alright” and never think about it again. Instead, this collection will give you tips that will stay with you. It’ll challenge your mindset. And hopefully, it’ll leave you feeling a little inspired.
This collection includes the following courses as well as a workbook with a ton of different advice, quotes, and resources to get you started.
- The Benefits of Stoic Thinking
- Keep Your Cool
- Let go of Control
- Turn away from Tech
- Be Grateful
- The Angry Unsent Letter
- Dealing with Failure and Rejection
As for tips moving back into “normal life” (whatever that means), we recommend the following:
- Change the goalposts. Figure out which parts of normal life you actually want back.
- Beware of the time you spend on your phone. The more attention you give it, the less connected you’ll be to yourself and the good stuff around you. We know it’s natural to want to feel close to others, but consider the fact that gluing yourself to a small screen might actually be doing the opposite. Have a minute off from the group chats and dating apps.
- Don’t lock yourself in. Take a walk. Get outside. I know; it’s too hot. Or, it’s too windy. Or, it’s raining. Do it anyway.
- Forgive yourself if you’ve not been all that productive. It’s not a contest. If you haven’t spent the first half of this year becoming fluent in Mandarin, learning how to cook amazing Mexican food, and mastering oil painting, guess what? It doesn’t matter.
- As obvious as it sounds, breathe. Not figuratively. Literally. Even if it’s a couple of minutes at the start of your day. Pause. Shut your eyes. Deep breath. Repeat as needed. Then off you go – calm and focused.
All the best on your mindful journey.