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6 Science-Backed Activities For Leaders To Become More Zen In Life by @AngeKYoumatter

by Angela Kambouris | Featured Contributor

Whether it’s mothers trying to separate teens from their screens to the busy executive going from conference calls to meditation, the evolution of technology impacts all facets of life. The digital world is permeating the fabric of life and its time to redefine the future of living.

As of December 2018, there are over 2.32 billion monthly active users worldwide on Facebook. There were 1.15 billion mobile daily active users. The average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes and every 60 seconds, 510,000 comments are posted.

The average American spends 24 hours a week online. E-marketer trends forecasted that US adults would spend an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018 and by 2019 mobile will surpass TV as the medium attracting the most minutes in the US.

Smartphones and apps have changed the way we work, communicate and play. Technology is a double-edged sword. It brings people together, makes it easier for people to collaborate however the negative impact can be soul-destroying. People’s physical health is being compromised due to poor eating habits, working more late hours, exercising less through to posture issues, headaches, and the quality and quantity of sleep and emotional wellbeing being impacted.

It’s time to take back your overrun attention and life. Let’s dive into 6 actionable activities that support you to get your focus back, live more consciously and build a more mindful life.

Work Smart Rule

The Pareto principle, 80/20 rule is well known for 20% of your work is going to account for 80% of your results. If you apply this universal truth to business and life, you invest 20% of the time on the tasks that yield 80% of the results. Leveraging the principle involves in asking quality questions to decipher what you are investing your time in:

  • What have l done that has moved me closer to my vision?
  • What have l invested my time in that has had a negative or no impact on moving me towards my vision?
  • What would be the steps that l would need to take to move one step closer to my vision?
  • What would be the first thing l would implement to bring me closer?

By being specific, you will determine the very step you need to execute daily to become the most productive version of you. By organizing your daily tasks, you prioritize the key bite-sized chunks, you focus on the tasks with the highest payoffs and you tackle your top 20% of tasks first.  When you execute those tasks, your brain release dopamine, the feel-good hormone. By cultivating small achievements, you propel yourself to greater success.

Zen Time

The practice of mindfulness and meditation has been around for thousands of years. In more recent times, the business world has embraced these practices because research supports how these practices can change the wiring and makeup of your brain. Companies such as Google, Salesforce,  and Toyota have understood the personal benefits of mindfulness to support business objectives.

Training the mind to focus is becoming more critical than ever as your attention is being pulled in 1000 different directions at once. Learning the basics of mindfulness and meditation through courses, books, apps, and YouTube videos is readily available. Commitment to a daily practice, starting with dedicated time in your day to learning to be present. This can be a sitting meditation using an app such as Headspace or practice being in the moment when going for a walk.

The Art of Now

Being in the moment can be a reminder for you to be more mindful of wherever you happen to be. When emotions, thoughts or desires arise, you notice them, be kind to them and allow them to be just as they are. When you embrace the moment with an open mind, you merely observe without judgment. By being in the moment, research supports that by fine-tuning your ability to be present, you decrease your stress responses and increase your positive emotions. When you make room for the full range of your human experience, you will live with more inner peace.

Self-inquiry

Another way is to focus on the inner orchestra of your body by scanning from head to toe. Notice which part of the body you connect with and notice what you feel. Another way is to focus on one part of your body and notice the physical sensations you can feel. When you focus on bodily sensation you release tension that perhaps you were not aware of before. When you bring attention to areas of discomfort within the body you decrease symptoms of stress and improve psychological well-being.

Purposeful Action

Multi-tasking is a mere illusion and addictive. Your brain convinces you that it loves to multitask when in fact training your mind to focus on one thing at a time allows you to produce more meaningful results. When you commit to your actions being purposeful and deliberate, you slow everything down. You shut down your mental autopilot to allow the logical part of your brain steps into the driver’s seat.

Act of Nature

In our modern work, distraction is running rife. Being able to disconnect and go into nature, whether it be a walk, hike or just sitting, you re-sensitize yourself to the life and beauty around you.  Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine published a study that found participants that walked in a forest had lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol (referred to as the stress hormone) afterward than those who strolled through a city environment.

Shinrin-Yoku or “forest bathing” was developed in Japan during the 1980’s, designed to combat stress from overwork. Today, it has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. By simply being in nature, connecting through your senses of sight, hearing, tastes, smell and touch. By opening your senses, it bridges the gap between you and nature.

Your repeated experiences will shape your thinking and the way you live your life. What your practice, grows stronger.

One Reply to “6 Science-Backed Activities For Leaders To Become More Zen In Life by @AngeKYoumatter”

  1. Kristina

    Such a great article! Loved the 80/20 principle. Was shocked at the 24hrs a week online!

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