Like many of you, between work and family, I have a pretty full schedule with little time in between. From the time the alarm goes off in the morning until my head hits the pillow at night, I am constantly on the go. Sound familiar?
Add the constant distraction of emails, text messages, and alerts, and it is easy to see why a recent Forbes article noted that we’re distracted about 47% of the time. All that distraction makes it difficult to accomplish the seemingly endless checklist of tasks on our plates or to be present with the ones we love.
And therein lies the seedbed for frustration and stress.
Slowing down. Mindfulness is the practice of slowing down and living more in the moment. Mindfulness allows us to be more present for our partners and our families. When practiced, mindfulness can also hold the key to reduce distraction, lower stress, and increase our ability to focus and be more productive.
I was reminded of this on Father’s Day. I spent the entire day away from work and the barrage of thoughts, worries, and stress that occupy our collective attention on a daily basis. Instead, I truly disconnected and focused on being present with my family and enjoying being in the moment with them. No real plans, just enjoying each other’s company where ever the day took us. It was probably one of the best Father’s Days I have ever spent. No grand hoopla. Just me, my family, and the present moment.
How can you incorporate mindfulness into your life?
For starters, it does not require a significant commitment of time. Just five minutes a day can produce results. Find a quiet place and just focus on your breathing. You can use a variety of meditation apps to help guide you (my favorite is “Headspace.”). Or get out of your routine and take a walk — without any electronic device — and focus on what’s going on around you.
You don’t need to be an experienced yogi or practiced meditator, just dedicate some time to be still and quiet the noise of life around you. The best time for me is first thing in the morning, and I have adopted Hal Elrod’s “Miracle Mornings.” As I have previously written, this has revolutionized my life, focus, and happiness each and every day. However, there are many other options to incorporate mindfulness into your life. Here are some others.
The key is that you find whatever works best for you. And it might take a few attempts at trial and error to find your sweet spot. Don’t give up, though. What’s going on right here and right now is too good to miss.
Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He has a passion for educating others about estate planning, veterans issues, and how to protect what matters most. He’s all about family, his community, and paying it forward by sharing his own life journey and the tips he’s learned along the way.