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How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Productivity in 3 Easy Steps

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How many times a day do you look at your phone? How much would someone have to pay you to quit Facebook? Has your attention span increased over the last few years or has it decreased? Chances are, you probably looked at your phone less than 10 minutes ago, someone would have to pay you over $100 to quit Facebook right now, and your attention span has likely decreased over the last 2 years.

Today, we live in a world in which technology seems to have seeped into every nook and cranny of our lives. From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night, we’re very rarely more than 2 feet from our phones, and we regularly spend 5+ hours of screen time per day. We are constantly connected, and interconnected to our friends, families, bosses, and colleagues.

Online we can make friends with strangers, build successful businesses, even fall in love, all with a few swipes in the time it might have taken our ancestors to carry water from the nearest well back home for a cold bath. We live in a wonderfully connected and convenient world, and we have fallen in love with it.

But it comes at a cost. The amount of effort that it takes to switch off from Netflix, to turn away from Facebook, and to stop swiping on Tinder means that our ability to stay focused on any one task for longer than a short period of time has been severely diminished. Today, young adults are said to have attention spans slightly less than 7 seconds long, which is less than that of a goldfish!

“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” – Buddha

That’s where mindfulness comes in. While mindfulness continues to carry many hippie and spiritual associations with Buddhism and meditation, it is quickly gaining mainstream acceptance as a practical way to reduce anxiety, develop self confidence, and even get better sleep. Apps like Headspace and Calm have done much to help promote this space as well.

In the spirit of being more productive in your day to day activities and reducing the amount of time you spend being distracted by things like streaming video and Facebook, here’s a 3-step mindfulness practice you can use to deepen your sense of focus. Like any form of exercise, repetition is the best way to see powerful results. A muscle won’t grow unless it is stretched and exerted. So, here we go.

This exercise can be done in 5, 10, or 15 minutes depending on how much free time you have. It should be done in a sitting position with your feet on the ground and your arms at your side or on your lap. You can close your eyes or leave them open, but most people find that by closing their eyes they’re much better able to concentrate.

Here is the 3 step mindfulness exercise you should start doing today:

1. Develop a clear intention

Define your intention in the moment. Consider what it is you want to accomplish from this exercise. What is the purpose of this activity? Do you have a task you need to be productive for? Is there something you’re putting off that you really should be doing but simply can’t? Consider these thoughts and then carefully choose a clear intention to focus on.

2. Focus on one thing, and one thing alone

This is a very hard request for people not used to focusing their minds very often. Choose what it is you will focus on and stick to it. Remember, this step is distinct from the “Intention” step because it requires focus, rather than intention. During the intention phase your mind may wander while you consider what your intention actually should be, but during the focus phase you must make a concerted effort to stay focused wholeheartedly on one specific thing. This is one of the hardest things to do in meditation and mindfulness, and will most definitely take practice before you get to a point where you can comfortably focus on one thing for more than a few minutes at a time.

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

3. Practice sustained effort

As previously mentioned in step 2, focusing on one thing, and one thing alone, can be incredibly challenging. Your mind has been trained over the years to look for distractions. In fact, your primitive brain has become incredibly good at finding and focusing on distractions, as they may represent opportunities for an easy meal or existential threats to one’s safety.

Now, most distractions are opportunities to like someone’s instagram pic or threats of missing out on the latest Amazon flash sale. Seemingly important to our primitive brains, but not important in reality. In step 3, practice holding sustained effort on that one focus area for as long as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if your mind gets pulled in other directions. Just remember to take a step back and realize that that is what’s happening before you bring the mind back into focus.

If you develop this into a regular practice, you will soon notice your ability to concentrate on your tasks becoming easier. Projects will become more enjoyable and you will be more fulfilled in the work that you do. Let me know if this is working for you, and any tips you might have to share with others.

McVal is the founder of We Write For Growth, a platform for businesses to connect with talented writers and researchers and growth hackers. He is also the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant. 

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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