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Mindfulness

23rd August 2017

Mindfulness

If you’re reading this at work or maybe on the bus or on the tube then you’re looking at a screen either that’s on your phone or your laptop. More than likely everyone else around you is doing the same. They’re in a world of their own, completely engrossed, not aware of anything going on around them.

So here is my question to you, how often are you actually present?

By this I mean in the moment 100%. Here, now, both physically and mentally with no thoughts or internal dialogue.

These days it’s easy to have our attention diverted from what’s happening around us by all sorts of things. At work this results in us finding difficulty focusing on the task in hand, our thoughts wander and we try to do too many things at once.

We’re pulled in many different directions, succumbing to the many demands on our time. Attention is scattered across many projects and it’s hard to ‘stay focused’. This can feel like being overloaded and leads to distractedness, confusion and poor decision-making.

Becoming more present and mindful of what is actually happening in the moment can help us. When you are really present you:

  1. Can be more flexible giving you the ability to ‘ebb and flow’ in the moment.
  2. Are more able to access your own intuition and “trust your gut.”
  3. Are more open to not knowing and takes risks.
  4. See more options to work with those around you and choose, in the moment, what is most effective.
  5. Use humour effectively to create lightness and energy.
  6. Confidently shift perspectives and experiment with new possibilities.
  7. Will be more confident in working with strong emotions without being overpowered by them.

So what is mindfulness and how do we practice it?

Mindfulness could be described as bringing your whole self into the room, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. It’s about clearing your mind and not being distracted by your own thoughts and stories and being ‘still’. It’s about being engaged in the relationship, connecting and then noticing what comes up. In this way you are more open to observe feelings and actions being transmitted by others and, pick up on what may not be being transmitted.

For me this is about being really centred and grounded so you can truly connect with the person or people you are working with.

Distraction leads us to not look deeply at situations, to stay at the superficial level. Mindfulness – being present helps us be focused on what really matters in the here and now. It can help us stay objective and make better decisions for the future.

We’re probably already practising mindfulness in our personal lives if we meditate, do yoga, or activities that promote calm thoughts and an awareness of our body. Or we might feel really ‘in the moment’ when out for a walk, enjoying the first spring sun on our face or noticing the changing colours of the autumn leaves.

What if I don’t have a mindfulness practice how do I get started? 

You can practice in many situations. I encourage people to find moments in the day to be really present e.g. walking down the street, sitting on the bus or tube, looking out of the window. Notice what’s happening around you.

Look up from the screen and try it now. There’s no time like the present!

“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.” 

Leon Brown

 

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