Practicing Mindfulness in Real Estate
If you already meditate, or have in the past, you’ve likely had some experience practicing “mindfulness”. The concept of mindfulness refers to being attentive in the present moment without judgment or evaluation. Research has shown that it is also a reliable way to reduce stress and anxiety, particularly in the workplace.
In turn, reducing stress can improve your workplace productivity, as well as your overall mental health. And while meditation is one common way to help achieve mindfulness, it is not the only way. If you’d like to practice being more mindful in your work but aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips to get started.
The Goal is to Find Focus
In Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2021 Report, researchers found that U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, with 57% of workers reporting feeling stress on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many advancements in technology have only contributed to the problem, with email, mobile calls, social media, and other forms of online communication constantly dragging us back to our work at all hours. In real estate this could be two-fold, with clients and colleagues often competing for your attention.
When our attention frequently jumps from one task to another, anxiety tends to increase and our quality of work can suffer. Practicing mindfulness, by training ourselves to come back to the present moment, can also help us find focus in our work. While one of the most reliable ways to achieve this is meditation, taking walks or even just requiring a work-free lunch break for yourself may also be effective methods.
Some simple ways you can practice mindfulness daily include:
- Focus On Breathing: The next time you feel overwhelmed, find somewhere quiet to sit and close your eyes. Focus only on your breath, in and out, and put other thoughts to the side. Practicing this for even a few minutes a day can help improve mindfulness.
- Slow Down & Notice: In the busy world we live in, it can be difficult to pay attention to your immediate surroundings. Make a habit of really noticing your environment and how it affects all your senses. What do you hear? What do you smell? The more you will yourself to truly pay attention to the world around you, the more your focus should improve with time.
- Be in the Present: Thinking about the future, even if it’s just your upcoming schedule, can often be unavoidable. But whenever you’re able, try to bring an open and accepting focus to everything you do. Live in the present and don’t let moments get away from you.
If the above exercises aren’t doing it for you, or you’d simply like to get into meditation, here are some more structured exercises you can practice.
- Sitting: Find somewhere comfortable and quiet to sit with hands in your lap, feet flat on the floor, and your back straight. Focus on your breathing as outlined above. If any thoughts or external noises distract you from your breath, make note of them, but then return your focus to breathing.
- Walking: If you’re a novice, you most likely picture the sitting exercise described above when you think of “meditation.” However, many people prefer to walk while meditating, which can be just as effective. Find a quiet path, preferably relatively short in length (not a hiking trail). The key is to move slowly and focus on the experience of walking, being aware of any sensations you experience and the way your body moves as you walk. Whenever you reach the end of your path, turn around and walk back to the start, and repeat as desired.
- Body Scan: This method is popular among therapists to help patients struggling with anxiety. For best results, lie flat on your back with arms at your sides, palms facing up, and legs fully extended. Focus first on your toes and try to feel them separately from the rest of your body and be aware of any sensations you feel. Then move to your feet, and so on all the way up to your head. Take deep breaths at a consistent pace throughout the process.
There have been many clinical studies about meditation, with convincing evidence that it can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase attention, improve sleep, and decrease job burnout. However, you will need to identify the methods that work best for you. Still skeptical? Commit to trying some of the strategies above on a daily basis, even if for only a few minutes a day, and see how you feel a month from now!