Are you experiencing the post-holiday blues?

The holiday season is over and as we are back in our professional lives …. are you stressed already?

Maybe it’s a project that never got completed last year or a seriously tough piece of work that just arrived on your desk, or maybe even a demanding client that wants everything last year …

While this can be exciting! Far too often we find ourselves tired and burnt out before the first quarter even ends.

It’s interesting to note that many seasoned top executives use a simple daily ritual that they swear by to combat stress! And so can you..

Their habit consists of a daily relaxation practice, that includes mindfulness.

A simple definition

Mindfulness can be defined as:

“Paying attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgement, as if your life depends on it” — Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Why does this work?

We are so taken and occupied by our minds. Thoughts flow through our heads non stop. Thoughts like “what will happen in that big meeting next week?”, or maybe regretting what happened 20 years back in high school … “Did that glance mean approval or disapproval?” “Why can’t I be good at Maths?” … You get the picture.

The problem is that our brains are wired to look for threats and to ensure our survival .. real OR imagined.

While a threat from a saber-toothed tiger or a famine does not exist today for most of us, our brain applies the same survivalist responses to our modern life stressors.

By focusing on the experience of the moment, observing your thoughts and just letting them pass, you are practicing mindfulness.

Watching thoughts? Are you crazy?

Sounds like it right? But contrary to what most think, your thoughts do not represent reality …

More realistically, thoughts are your brain’s reponse to your experiences and stressors around you. How many times have you worried about something and had it never come true? How many dialogues have you played out in your mind that never went that way?!

Think of your thoughts as a random radio station that chatters constantly about the future and the past.

Your thoughts are randomized responses to your experiences and environmental stimulus. Your own radio station plays with a narrator that sounds suspiciously just like you.

And here lies the key to regaining control over your stress… Mindfulness allows you to “step back” and observe the stations narrator, recognise that its just noise and then choose what you want to to. This creates a sense of space in your thinking. And the benefits are immense.

Often our minds produce destructive thoughts

Your minds narrator:

“I have a project due tomorrow, I am so stressed, I will never completed it, I will be fired and lose my house and end up living on the streets.”

Your typical response to situations may often be feelings of stress, pressure and impending doom!

Your mindful response is different, when you observe your thoughts and focus on the present:

“This is my mind alerting me to the project deadline. I acknowledge it, but won’t judge or act on it. I am focusing on the now, the only thing that is real.”

See the difference? In one case you are completely engrossed in your internal narration and caught up in the radio station. While with the latter, you took a step back and observed the narrator then acknowledged it for what it is … a random stream of conciousness.

This is why mindfulness combined with focused relaxation can reduce stress. By purposefully practicing being in the now, you can learn to quieten and often break yourself from that constant chatter.

And the good news is that it can take as little as 10 minutes, twice a day to re-train your brain.

Is this for you?

I want you to imagine a life where you can get perspective on your thoughts instead of going on automatic pilot… Imagine the ability to ‘reset’ your mental state from chaos to calm. To produce the feeling of just having woken up in a great mood and feeling refreshed … any time you want. This is what focused relaxation with mindfulness will give you.

A year back, I was going through tough and very stressful times with my business and personal life. I also barely had a few minutes of spare time in a seven day week. I was eating well and exercising daily already. So I needed to find a way to help me gain control, like a mental workout. This is one of the only things that would work in only a few minutes and could always fit into my schedule. I felt the diffference in just a couple of days practice!

As a result, I created an app called “Inner Citadel”. Designed for busy exectives like you to get breathing room and a tool to finally tame that chattering radio station.

Think of it as a daily mental workout, a health regime for your on your mind.

Download the app for free:

Or visit the website