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Defeat Workplace Stress Using Mindfulness Meditation

Stress is a major health problem for many workers and the issue only continues to grow. One of the primary reasons why stress levels are going up today is because many workers are only distracting themselves from the issues at hand. Listening to music, watching TV, eating a favorite food… these are call distractions.

To relieve stress, it is necessary to cope with the difficult emotions and circumstances that have caused it in the first place. This is where mindfulness meditation can become a powerful tool to use. Instead of running away from the stress to deal with it on another day, it becomes possible to resolve stressful situations as they happen, leading to a healthier body and mind.

Why Is Stress So Bothersome?

Stress is an internal trigger which causes a personal crisis situation. It creates negative emotional energies that start a cycle of anger, bitterness, and/or resentment. As time goes on, a downward spiral forms as these events repeat themselves over and over again. The mind becomes focused only on the past.

To defeat stress, the past must not be allowed to continue operating as an internal trigger. With mindfulness meditation, the perspective shifts from the past to the present. Instead of worrying about what happened to create stress, the focus becomes on what is happening right now, at this one given moment, and to explore what this one given moment contains.

How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work?

Stress is best described as an iceberg. You’ll see a small portion of ice floating at the surface, but underneath lurks a dark and hidden amount of stress that is much larger than what others can see. Mindfulness meditation helps to melt this iceberg because it focuses on recovery instead of the stressful triggers.

After you’ve isolated yourself to begin your meditation, begin to explore your point of view. Why was so much stress created? Summarize the thoughts that come your way that look at your reactions. Then connect the stress to the feelings you’ve experienced.

Mindfulness meditation also offers alternatives to a stressful reaction that can be implemented almost anywhere. Deep breathing to explore your internal feelings can change a perspective. Even experiencing the textures and flavors of a favorite food can become a form of mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness Meditation Requires Practice

Most workers decide to give up on mindfulness meditation because it doesn’t seem to work right away. Like any new habit or skill, this will take time to develop. Instead of giving yourself 2-3 days to experiment with it to control stress and internal triggers, give it 2-3 weeks instead. Keep practicing mindfulness meditation in different situations to discover where it can be the most beneficial.

Then you’ll be ready to go back to work with a focus on the present or the future instead of the stressful events of the past. Stress will always be around thanks to the high pressure professional environments that workers have every day. Using mindfulness meditation to control that stress can help every worker enter this environment prepared for the challenges they may face.

5 Essential Ways To Improve Your Productivity Right Now

Sometimes being able to improve your productivity means following some common sense advice. Everyone has their own list of resources and techniques that works for them on an individual level, but any technique has to come down to certain core changes that must be made. If you want to improve your productivity right now, then here is what you’re going to do.

#1. Put Less On Your Plate

Having a lot of work staring at you can be overwhelming. It can create stress. It can cause you to throw your hands up in the air, utter your favorite expletive, and decide to binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix instead. The journey of a 1,000 miles doesn’t begin with a 1,000 mile road trip. It begins one small step: the decision to go in the first place.

Put fewer things on your to-do lists every day. Focus on just one task at a time, making sure your most important tasks are completed before any others. Put the tough tasks first because your greatest energy reserves are when you start your day. That will help you become more productive.

#2. Plot Your Strategies Early

It can be helpful to plan out your day not as you’re driving to work, but the night before you have to get something important accomplished. This will stop you from worrying about what you’ll do all night. You’ll also have more confidence going into the tasks which need to be completed because you’ve rehearsed what will happen during the plan’s formation.

#3. Be Mindful of the Present

There are two timing traps that kill productivity levels for most people: regret over past decisions or anxiety over future results. You can’t change the past. You can make your future be whatever it is you want it to be. What you have is this moment, right here, where you can get something done. Your choice is pretty simple. You can work or you can choose not to work. Which will it be?

#4. Create a Routine and Stick To It

Humans orientate themselves on structures. This is why we eat meals around the same time every day. We have working hours that are about the same every day [at least hopefully, right?]. We go the same places, do the same things, hang out with the same friends… yet when it comes to work, we try to vary the routine because doing the same tasks in the same way is considered “boring.”

Find your routine at work and then stick to it. Be committed to checking emails at the same time every day. Do your paperwork at the same time. Listen to voicemails at the same time. When you create this structure of routine around how you work, you’ll find that productivity can increase dramatically because you’re focused instead of distracted by the changes you’ve created for yourself.

#5. Find Your Bad Habits

Maybe you feel the need to check Facebook every 20 minutes. You might be on Twitter constantly. Maybe you just sit in your office chair, twiddle your thumbs, and daydream of winning the lottery so you can purchase a horse farm. We all have bad habits that rob us of productive time. We’re also so accustomed to those habits that they become part of who we are. To find your bad habits, you must either log all of your time and discover what your daily routines are or have someone you trust do this for you.

The benefit of this method is that you will see where your time is being wasted in a useful manner. You can then develop a plan to counter those time-wasters so your productivity levels will begin to rise.

Improving productivity isn’t always easy. It isn’t going to happen on its own. Use these essential methods to begin working on your habits and routines and you may just find that extra push you’ve been needing to find.

Why Having a Boring Manager Is the Best Thing Ever

Many organizations tend to look for managers that are full of flash and pizzazz. They want someone who can make an immediate impact, look good while doing it, and inspire others to follow along with a vision for the future. Instead of looking for a competent manager, the goal is often to find a confident one instead.

Managers are given their title for one basic reason – they manage. It’s not something that provides a lot of excitement. When there is a boring manager in place, in fact, there is a good chance that everyone is going to have the best opportunities possible to succeed. Here are the traits that this group of management professionals have in common.

#1. They are emotionally mature. Boring managers aren’t going to fret about the past because it has already happened. They aren’t going to worry about the future because it hasn’t been written. The only thing they are concerned about is how each present task gets completed. This provides them with more stability and emotional maturity because anxiety is virtually eliminated from the equation.

#2. They encouraged others to be better every day. Boring managers also focus on the people who they are tasked with managing on an individualized basis. The goal is to develop each person in a way that is uniquely suited to that individual so they can be more productive, more experienced, and eventually ready to take on the mantle of being a boring manager themselves one day.

#3. They take criticism as feedback instead of a personal attack. Criticism can be difficult to take sometimes, especially when there is a personal investment in the action being criticized. Boring managers will take this as information they can use in the future to improve themselves and their team. Instead of a negative emotional reaction, they listen for the good that can be taken from that information and then they work to apply it.

#4. They let their people do their own job. Boring managers don’t get involved with the daily tasks that their people need to complete. They also don’t get involved in everyone’s personal drama. That’s because they are proactively solving the people problems on their team so they don’t become a distraction. They can do these because they aren’t reacting to the overwhelming communication cues that surround them every day – they are problem-solving instead.

#5. They have integrity. Boring managers are predictable and that’s a great thing because one always knows what to expect from them. If this type of manager makes a promise, then you know that promise will be fulfilled. They support their team, stand up for what is right, and this encourages negativity to stay away.

A team of employees will slowly adapt their own personal traits to those which they observe from their manager. That’s ultimately why having a boring manager in place is the best thing ever. You can have confidence in the competence this person has in their ability to run their team, even if there is no pizzazz to the process.

9 Habits of Mentally Strong People

Some people power through stressful situations like they are nothing. Others struggle to get beyond the emotional reaction that happens when stress occurs. Being mentally strong isn’t something that only a select group of people is able to be. If you struggle with stress, then begin increasing your strength with the 9 habits of mentally strong people.

#1. Be confident in yourself. The moment that self-doubt appears is the moment you lose mental strength. Reassure yourself. Eliminate the negative thoughts that try to creep in. Tell yourself “I’ve got this,” and then go do it.

#2. Minimize your focus. You don’t need to tackle the entire problem you face at once. Take small problems and focus on those. Step by step, you’ll find yourself solving the big problem by solving the smaller ones along the way.

#3. Don’t exaggerate the issue. Look at the stressful situation factually. Don’t try to imagine different outcomes or how people might react. Keep the problem in perspective and take action where you decide it makes sense. You’re not going to please everyone 100% of the time, so make the decision you think is right and go with it.

#4. Identify the triggers. If you know where your greatest stress generators happen to be, then you can avoid them or manage them more effectively. Identify the warning signs you feel when a trigger may be near so you can be proactive about beating back stress instead of being forced to be reactive.

#5. Develop social supports. Positive energy will always build you up. Negative energy will always tear you down. Spend more time with the people who build you up and you’ll discover that your mental strength will increase as well.

#6. Do the difficult stuff first. Prioritize your tasks based on importance and difficulty. Instead of getting the easiest stuff done first, tackle the most difficult project. That way, when you have low levels of mental energy at the end of the day, you’ll still be able to get some work finished.

#7. Keep your personal space your own. Ever noticed how “drama” can drain you physically and mentally? That’s why it is so important to make sure your personal space stays your own. Keep physical and emotional boundaries intact and up at all times. Don’t be afraid to tell people to respect those boundaries so you don’t get drawn into the time-wasting, energy-draining debates that happen.

#8. Create and use real coping skills. Slapping on some headphones or zoning out in front of the TV are not coping skills. They’re distractions. Keep a journal, implement time for meditation, or speak with a trusted colleague to process the difficult emotions.

#9. Have some fun. This is where watching TV or listening to some favorite tunes comes into play. Spend time with your family. Turn projects into games that keep you competitive with your colleagues, but in a friendly way.

Staying mentally strong may required some lifestyle changes. It takes commitment. The effort to maintain these habits, however, will always pay dividends. Get started today and there will be no limit to what you can accomplish.

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