‘Mindfulness’ has become hugely popular in recent years.
CEOs and many other professionals have credited mindfulness with improving their performance, reducing stress, and providing an overall greater satisfaction in both work and life. So what are they all going on about? Let’s take a look.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
The therapeutic technique of mindfulness – as the dictionary defines it – is:
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations
Mindfulness is ultimately a calm awareness which can be used to help you deal with negative emotions and thoughts, as well as make you a more sympathetic and receptive person. The practice has its origins in Eastern religions (including Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga), but has evolved to become a popular term in modern psychotherapy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Research to date has uncovered numerous benefits for both mental and physical health. Some of them include:
- Stress reduction
- Increase self-awareness
- Enhance emotional intelligence
- Effectively handle painful thoughts and feelings
- Improved memory and focus
- Improved work performance
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE IT?
There are a number of ways to practice mindfulness, ranging from an informal 3 minutes to an hour of mindful meditation, but the most basic method is described by helpguide.org below:
- Start by bringing your attention to the sensations in your body
- Breathe in through your nose, allowing the air downward into your lower belly. Let your abdomen expand fully.
- Now breathe out through your mouth
- Notice the sensations of each inhalation and exhalation
- Proceed with the task at hand slowly and with full deliberation
- Engage your senses fully. Notice each sight, touch, and sound so that you savour every sensation.
- When you notice that your mind has wandered from the task at hand, gently bring your attention back to the sensations of the moment.
There you go! Start with the above steps and check out some of the great sources below for more information on how you can incorporate mindfulness into your life and improve your performance and wellbeing.
For more information on Martin and the courses we offer that can get you off on the right foot when it comes to 2017 and your career goals, visit martin.edu.au/courses