Mindful

Most people I meet would like to be calmer and more focused on what matters in the moments of their lives. But the more stressed we are, the less open we are to creative ideas and the more prone we are to procrastination.

Here is a 10-second practice that I challenge you to practice a few times a day and realize its power to help you focus on what matters moment-to-moment. Inevitably, as you practice and repeat this, you’ll become more of a PRO at life.

The Be a PRO Practice

1. P – Pause – This is the initial step that helps break the auto-pilot stress cycle.

2. R – Relax your body – When we’re stressed, our muscles get tight which sends signals back to the brain to fight, flee or freeze, making thoughts more distracted and chaotic. Relaxing the body does the opposite, it begins to open the mind again, making it easier to focus.

3. O – Open to what matters in the moment – As the body is relaxed we have a greater chance to be more aware of creative ideas or simply the ability to focus on the task at hand.

Here are 11 really good places where practicing being a PRO at life can come in handy:

1. Being a PRO at life means starting your day this way…wake up, relax your body, open up to your intentions for the day.

2. Getting caught in the flurry of getting yourself or the family ready in the morning and feeling irritated? This is a perfect opportunity for pausing, relaxing and opening to being with them or getting things prepared.

3. Traffic got you down? Stoplights are a great place to practice being a PRO.

4. Finding yourself in a tense business meeting?

5. Having a challenging discussion with your partner or kids?

6. Giving a speech in front of a lot of people and feeling anxious?

7. Sitting at the dinner table and everyone is on their phones?

8. Worrying about something that you have no control over?

9. Texting while driving?

10. Laying down for the night and having trouble falling asleep because your mind is spinning?

11. Any time you have 3 minutes. Try this practice.

Don’t take my word for it, actually plug this in a few times a day and see what you notice.

What you practice and repeat starts to become automatic. Imagine if you could learn to get better and better at feeling a greater sense of personal control.

What might be different?

Adapted from Mindfulness & Psychotherapy

Elisha Goldstein

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and conducts a private practice in West Los Angeles. He is creator of the 6-month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Atria Books, 2015), The Now Effect (Atria Books, 2012), Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler (Atria Books, 2013), and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger, 2010).

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