In this article we are pleased to share an article from Joseph Chivayo which contains some top tips on mindfulness for Leaders – thank you Joesph.
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment, to our own thoughts, feelings, and to the world around us can improve our mental wellbeing. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. As leaders we are more productive when we are in tune with ourselves, and we can also support our teams and our organisations to improve mindfulness and improve our business outcomes. This is sometimes called mindful leadership. The ability to navigate through complex, ever-changing and sometimes stressful work and life situations with calmness and clarity.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes as we experience them. That might be something as enjoying fresh air outside or listening to lovely sounds from birds or actually enjoying every sip of that much loved warm drink. Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better. When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted and we become more productive.
Now you may be asking yourself, how can we master mindfulness…?
Just like any new habit and way of life, it takes time, consistency, and self-discipline. Reminding ourselves to take notice of our thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around us is the first step to mindfulness. Here are more practical tips to explore:
1. Notice the everyday
As we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk.
2. Keep it regular
It can be helpful to pick a regular time, such as a morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime, during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.
3. Try something new
Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help us notice the world in a new way.
4. Watch our thoughts
Some people find it very difficult to practise mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they’re doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in. It might be useful to remember that mindfulness isn’t about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events that come and go. This can be very hard at first, but with gentle persistence it is possible.
5. Free yourself from the past and future
You can practise mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been trapped in reliving past problems or pre-living future worries. I love the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt
“Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it ‘The Present’.