How much effort do I need? – Mindful ergonomics

Dear Integral Meditators,

Coping with stress, fatigue, getting what we need to do done is a challenge for all of us. One of the ways in which mindfulness can really help us in this regard is by encouraging us to put only as much effort as we need into a task in order to get it done, no more, no less….The article below explores this topic!

For those in Singapore, heads up for the  Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment workshop on Saturday 20th May, 2-5.30pm. Anywhere you are, you can view my three short stress transformation videos here:

How to begin transforming your stress
The Deeper Purpose of Stress Transformation
Toby talks about directing and transforming anger

In the spirit of transformation,

Toby


How much effort do I need? – Mindful ergonomics

Coping with stress, fatigue, getting what we need to do done is a challenge for all of us. One of the ways in which mindfulness can really help us in this regard is by encouraging us to put only as much effort as we need into a task in order to get it done, no more, no less. For example:

  • If I am now sitting at my computer typing this article I can be mindful to keep my body relaxed as I type, and relax my mind as I direct my mental attention to the task of writing. If I am not mindful in this way, it is very easy for me to be holding tension in my shoulders and arms, and mentally ‘trying too hard’ to think through my writing. By mindfully relaxing my body mind, I expend less energy on the task and get it done better.
  • If I am walking down the street I can be mindful to use only the muscles that I need to propel myself forward at the pace I need. Often when we walk we are unconsciously holding tension in our face, upper body and so on that is causing us to expend energy for no real purpose. When I relax my body consciously as I walk I am literally conserving energy that I can then use for other things.
  • If I am with someone who is emotionally upset, I can extend care and compassion toward them whilst consciously relaxing and not allowing their intensity of emotion to overtake my own feelings. I can extend care and compassion without exhausting myself emotionally.
  • If I have a stack of tasks to engage in, I can consciously choose NOT to allow the mental tension to overtake my physical and emotional bodies. Instead I can deliberately set up one task at a time, and keep relaxed as I do each one. This way I get more done and expend less energy.

If we keep engaging with this type of ‘mindful ergonomics’ we create a win-win situation in our daily tasks. We get more done with less energy expended, so we have more energy available for other activities, enjoyments and pleasures. More than this the task that we are engaged in in the moment becomes more enjoyable and we tend to be more effective at doing it!

The practice
At the beginning of or during any given task, simply ask yourself the question “How much effort do I need to do this task?” Come back to your body, mind and emotions and see if you can release any unnecessary tension of effort that is eating up your energy when it does not need to be doing so. Seek out the balance point of applying enough energy to get what needs to be done done, and otherwise keeping relaxed.

© Toby Ouvry 2017, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Monday 15th & 29th May, 10-11am – Bi-monthly Monday morning meditation classes (East coast)

Tuesday & Wednesday evenings – Meditations for creating a mind of ease, relaxed concentration and positive intention – A six week course

Saturday 20th May, 2-5.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A 3.5 Hour Workshop

Saturday June 10th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindfulness deep dive half day retreat

 


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