I recently contributed to an article for Lufthansa, which shares a few ideas on practicing mindfulness when travelling for business
Many of my clients travel regularly for business and sometimes find that aspects of travel can lead to additional pressure, stress or fatigue – they’ve found that investing in a few “mindful moments” can be really beneficial.
Next time your travelling – whether on business or pleasure, via plane, train, automobile or anything else – why not try out the following:
Eating or drinking with focused attention
Based on the classic mindfulness practice, the Raisin Meditation, this tip asks you to place focused attention on what you are eating or drinking.
It sounds simple, but delivers big benefits. In studies, people who completed the Raisin Meditation went on to demonstrate improved task performance, increased attention and more positive feelings.
Why not try this exercise with your pre-flight drink or snack, or during part of your in-flight meal? Just follow the guidance below to experience the benefits for yourself:
- Take a moment to study your food or drink. Really notice every detail – scent, colour and texture.
- Bring it to your lips. What do you notice? Perhaps sensations in your body – anticipation, an urge to taste.
- Now, hold it in your mouth. What sensations do you feel? Slowly taste, chew and savour it. What flavours do you detect?
- When you are ready, swallow. Notice how this feels.
- Finally, register any after-effects. How do your mouth and tongue feel? Your body? Are you anticipating the next mouthful?
Throughout this exercise, keep your full attention on your food or drink. If you become distracted by other thoughts, gently refocus your attention onto what you are consuming
We humans often rush through life, thinking ahead, thinking back and frequently overlooking the good things we have here and now. In addition, we operate with what psychologists call our ‘Negativity Bias’ – this is our tendency to react very strongly to negative events. As a result, we can get a skewed perception of life – with the problems appearing to far outweigh the pleasures.
This appreciation exercise helps to achieve a more balanced perception – and studies have linked similar exercises to increases in happiness, self-esteem, empathy, sleep quality and resilience as well as reductions in depression, stress and aggression.
All you have to do is notice five things during your day, which you are grateful for. Take a moment to really tune into each thing and experience the positive feelings associated with it.
So, when you are travelling, perhaps acknowledge and appreciate the really nice cup of coffee you had whilst you waited for your flight. Or a smile from cabin crew or other passengers. Or that a film you’d hoped to watch is available on your in-flight entertainment. Or look around as you travel through the airport and appreciate the variety of human life and endeavour, which surrounds you.
In addition to the above, there are some great tips in the article from other mindfulness professionals – to read the full article just click here.