Mindfulness as a tool to flourish
The coaching process is unique to each individual and different tools may be adopted to help you to move forward towards your goal.
One such tool is mindfulness which is now highly recognised as incredibly beneficial in varying ways. Studies have shown how it can increase creativity, manage stress levels and decrease burnout. It’s been around for centuries but is only recently being hailed as a valuable practice wherever you may be. In essence, mindfulness is about:
- being and living in the moment
- paying real and active attention to the here and now
- living now, not in the past that has gone by, nor in the future.
If you observe young children, you can often see them living in the moment naturally. As we grow older with more demands, social conditioning and stresses, the ability to “just be” can reduce without even realising what is happening. Instead, the demands of life, work, our environment or clients lead us to function by just “doing” without being in the moment. We often operate like robots on autopilot but, with that, we experience less pleasure. I am sure many readers can relate to that.
Whilst pressures do exist, being mindful in your tasks at home or work (or even in your hobbies or when exercising), enables you to benefit in a number of ways. Creating mindful space physically and mentally may take time as you remove any judgments or assumptions about it but practice creates a new habit that can enable you to flourish.
10 benefits of being mindful
1. Greater awareness of yourself, your surroundings and the people in it.
2. Clarity of thinking, improved ability to evaluate and make decisions with composure.
3. Increased creative thinking.
4. Reduced stress.
5. Improved listening and communication for you and with others.
6. Increased ability to address and manage conflict or difficult situations.
7. Improved awareness of tasks or goals and how to reach them.
8. Finding others mirror your mindful calmness.
9. Improved morale and engagement with others or in activities.
10. Awareness of performance with improved performance and activity levels.
How to be mindful at work - an example:
Here is a simple example of how to be mindful before you start a task. It takes 3 -5 minutes.
- Take your seat at your desk. Place your feet firmly on the ground but relaxed.
- Allow your shoulders to relax. Take a breath and a moment to ensure the shoulders have relaxed.
- Place your hands and lower arms comfortably on your desk.
- You may wish to close your eyes or lower your gaze. Do what it comfortable for you in your environment.
- Notice the sensations you feel as your feet are on the ground. You may notice nothing or you may notice something, some tingling or other sensations. Do not be judgmental, just be.
- Take your awareness upwards, from your feet through your legs and to your bottom on the seat. Acknowledge any sensations. Take your time.
- Keep the awareness on your body, moving upwards through your back to your arms. Acknowledge any sensations.
- As you continue to move your awareness upwards in your torso, check in that your shoulders still relaxed. Bring your awareness to them. If at any time, your body has tightened up, just acknowledge it in your mind and relax, let go of the tension.
- Take your awareness to your neck and acknowledge any tension then release it mentally, just let it go.
- Take the awareness up the face towards the centre of the eyebrows. Relax.
- Sit here for a few moments. What do you notice in your body? Anything?
- You may hear sounds around you. If so, what sensations do you feel?
- Take a moment, focusing on the stillness of the body.
- After a minute or whatever time is comfortable for you, bring your awareness back to the environment. Perhaps move your fingers and toes a little enabling your senses to awaken steadily. Open your eyes.
You may now continue with your day.
In mindfulness, there is no need to alter the way you feel. It is about acknowledging this and living in the moment, giving yourself time to notice things. This time allows you the opportunity to release tension and sometimes pain. Remember, developing the art of mindfulness takes time and it may take a few attempts to feel the benefits personally. Just be aware and it will flow.
For more information, you can contact me or visit some other useful links.
Useful links and other information:
Further reading includes: The Mindfulness Breakthrough by Sarah Silverton and others.
There are various mindfulness exercises available online including on YouTube. Start simple. See, amongst others:
About the author
Anita is a passionate advocate of coaching. She has been described by clients as “focused, extremely effective, professional, insightful, aspiring and supportive”. Her extensive experience of working with people at all levels, combined with her coaching skills, enables her to deliver transformative coaching with focus on sustaining that growth.
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