The Holistic Productivity Approach: 6 Steps To Achieve More, Stress Less
Daily stress, overworking, getting stuck in a routine, a sedentary lifestyle and neglecting your mental health – all these factors a affect not only our well-being, but also the functioning of the brain, as a result of which we lose the joy of life, motivation and interest in what is happening around us. In order to maintain mental resilience, productivity and brain health, regardless of your age, the mind must be constantly trained and stimulated, therefore taking care of both constant brain activity and your personal health in general. So you might wonder – how to maintain mental clarity, productive mindset and joy of life at any age?
A person’s mental health is as essential as physical well-being. It gives us motivation, the joy of living happily, the ability to see the new and interesting things in life, find solutions for problems. Good mental health allows us to cope with everyday stress and live fully, successfully overcoming difficulties, building relationships with those around us and enjoying the small everyday joys. Neglecting mental health can lead not only to emotional difficulties, such as depression and mood swings, but also to physical symptoms, including sleep disturbances and chronic fatigue. Therefore holistic approach to your productivity must include also universal and inclusive approach to your mental and physical health and well-being, eliminating most common harmful aspects of our everyday life.
We have prepared 6 practical steps for preserving and restoring mental and physical wellness enhancing overall productivity with the emphasis of holistic approach to your productivity and well-being:
Communicate with others & be socially active
By communicating with fellow humans, we develop social skills, gain new experiences, and thereby promote brain and physical health in the process. Fostering mutual social contacts include both multifaceted conversations and discussions on current topics, new acquaintances, learning from others, communication in the digital environment and active listening. These activities allow you to develop reasoning skills, efficiency and emotional intelligence so you can better understand other people’s emotions and react accordingly, stimulate critical thinking and brain activity that will lead to more effective professional and personal accomplishments.
When you know how to how to achieve a favorable course of negotiations, you can achieve greater work success and be a pleasant conversational partner for everyone. Allow the other person to be himself, be open in conversation, do not set any imaginary standards built in your head, what the other person should be or what should they say in your mutual communication. By showing sincerity, simplicity and realistic discussion of an issue, you will motivate others to get closer to their goal and you will feel the satisfaction and feeling of an accomplishment for yourself.
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Make time for physical activity
Did you know that your productivity is directly affected by the exercise and everyday movement? Some workplaces have taken this step even further by paying employees to work out during work hours. By actively moving, the level of endorphins, hormones of happiness, increases in the body and the mood improves. Physical activities and exercise contribute to the supply of oxygen to the brain, increase the speed of thinking, perception and reaction, as well as have a beneficial effect on the blood vessels of the brain allowing you think more clearly and make better decisions. Exercise has been credited to elevate your mental activity levels that leads to more productive hours at work.
Set aside at least 30 minutes during the day for some movement, choosing an activity that seems more enjoyable and suitable for you, such as dancing or yoga, or simply going for a brisk walk. On the other hand, at least 150 minutes a week should also be devoted to vigorous physical activities to elevate your physical strength and keep you younger and more flexible that will allow you feel better and motivated to reach new personal goals.
Acquire new skills & learn
When we learn something new, we keep our brain active and functional for years to come, thus maintaining its flexibility and ability to absorb new information. Learning new skills expands the brain’s cognitive reserves, which ensures better brain recovery in the event of various injuries, as well as slows down its natural aging process. From childhood, our future and success in life depends on our ability to learn. It is possible to learn easily, understand every subject and be productive when you keep learning new skills.
There are many ways you can motivate yourself to keep your brain active and younger for longer – learn a new language, read, join courses that interest you, learn to play a musical instrument or devote time to other activities that allow you to encounter the unknown and create new challenges for your mind. Whether you want to succeed at work or just pick up a new hobby, you’ll need to learn some new skills to achieve your goals.
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Implement mindfulness practices
Slow and mindful meditation helps to increase concentration, reduce stress and improve self-confidence, while breathing exercises will restore mental balance and calm the mind. It is recommended to devote at least ten minutes a day to meditation, sitting still and focusing on yourself while carefully concentrating on each inhalation and exhalation. When you practice some of these mindfulness approaches you can ground yourself better and particularly manage the stress levels avoiding more serious mental or physical issues that can be caused by the stressful lifestyle most of us have.
Mindfulness is a scientifically based, traditional method for improving the functioning of the mind, reducing stress, and achieving efficiency. Practicing mindfulness improves the quality of life in all areas and leads to noticeable results in both physical and mental wellness, as well as in work and personal life, this has been proven in many studies.
Write down your emotions and experiences
By defining and writing down your thoughts, emotions and experiences, inner tension is reduced, the brain gets rid of worries and emotional well-being increases, besides, writing by hand exercises your motor skills, develops problem-solving ability and trains your attention. It turns out that when you transfer your emotions to paper or even digitally, a person gets rid of stress, as stress greatly reduces the body’s resistance to various diseases and creates inflammation.
Try to spare a few minutes at least four times a week to write down everything that happened to you that day. This holistic approach should not be a simple listing of events; the notes should reflect your attitude towards the events. This writing practice will not only increase your confidence and productive mindset, but will also let you achieve more then before as you are no longer holding on to negative emotions.
To take care of your brain and mental productivity, you should also pay attention to other daily habits, such as your diet and the quality of food you consume. To be able to function at your best, your diet should be healthy and balanced. The brain needs nourishment from products containing valuable omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B and other vitamins and minerals. Healthy non processed food options and natural supplements that normalize the functioning of the nervous system can also be useful for the optimal functioning of your body and mind.
To let yourself fully rest after a long day – find time to relax and devote at least eight hours a day to sleep. Because when you feel good, then you can be more efficient in life and at work, so it is worth to nurture ans support your body and mind with better lifestyle choices.
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To sum up
Our wellness, energy and physical health can be preserved and restored at any age – our attitude, lifestyle, ability to learn from experience and productivity can be increased with some of the above mentioned steps as long as you practice them. Over time, brain cells regenerate more slowly, therefore, without training the mind, cognitive functions suffer – including memory, the ability to process information and learn new things, but don`t worry – you can work to prevent that.
To maintain productive mindset and motivation to accomplish things, the brain – just like the body – needs to be constantly trained by communicating, learning new skills and being aware of your emotions, while also devoting enough time to rest and stress management. It should also be remembered that mental health is closely related to physical health – chronic stress contribute to illnesses and lack of energy. While adequate sleep and physical activity improve not only our well-being, but also our mental capabilities – to achieve the highest results in the personal and professional life in the long term.
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