In a world full of
consistent trials and tribulations,
ups and down and directives for doing, doing, doing…
it’s important to take time out for yourself,
breathe and just be…
~ Jacqueline A. Hinds ~
I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine who, like myself, runs her own business. As we conversed, we touched on so many subject matters and, after a while, came to the same conclusion that since the beginning of 2018, the days seemed to be flying by! We both spoke on how there is not enough hours in the day to finish the multitude of outstanding jobs and projects we are currently undertaking.
We both do voluntary roles and often support friends and family on projects or initiatives they happen to need help on. Quite a few times whilst speaking, the term mindfulness kept cropping up, or lack of it in the context of our conversation.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in your own world, only seeing to the needs of what is best for ‘me, instead of a we’ scenario.
What is Mindfulness you ask… well… some people think it’s to do with meditation or Buddhism (which is where mindfulness originated from) and some people will say… well it’s about being mindful of one another! Let’s look at the official definition……
In the simplest form, Mindfulness is about awareness and, practising mindfulness enables individuals to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement… It can help alleviate stress, anxiety and conflict in certain situations; enabling individuals to enhance or increase their resilience and tap into their emotional intelligence, thus improving communication channels within the workplace and social settings.
Sometimes, we tend to zone out and conduct our daily routines on autopilot, not paying attention to anything or anyone!
One way of doing a bit of a temperature check on yourself as to whether you are mindful or not… Consider the following points and answer them honestly. In the last week or so, have you found that you:
- Are unable to recollect what others have said during conversations that you’ve had or been involved in?
- On your daily commute to work, you have not recollection of the journey… you just arrive?
- You’re against the clock and have deadlines to meet so, you’re not taking a lunch break and eat at your desk… do you remember the taste of the food you’ve eaten?
- Are more engrossed in your phone and media platforms you are on i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc..?
- Dwelling on past events or dreading what the future has in store for you?
- You are skim-reading this very article?
If you honestly answered yes, the chances are that you’re totally zoning out on a regular basis and, spending a good proportion of your time on auto pilot!
Understanding the concept of mindfulness and how it can help individuals in their daily lives is a really boost to one’s spirit. In the world you live in, you can easily forget how to breathe because, you’re very busy getting things done, putting in long hours and feeling somewhat shattered and, more to the point, going a break neck speed in our very own ‘hamster wheels’ of life, so much so, that we don’t have time for anything else. Over time, one can develop inner resources that will help individuals navigate through difficult, trying and stressful situations with more ease, comfort and grace.
By becoming aware of one’s own emotions as they arise will give you more choices in how you deal with these emotions. Practising mindfulness, will help you become more aware of any arising emotions by sensing it through your body. The best thing to do when you’ve sensed a change, is stop what you’re doing and breathe deeply, recognising and how you are experiencing this emotion through your body; take time and reflect on where this emotion is actually coming from in your mind i.e., personal, historical, an insecurity and, respond to it in the most compassionate way possible.
Regular practice of mindfulness will increase the brain’s ability to repair itself and grow new neural connections. Don’t forget, the ‘use it or lose it’ approach to physical exercise and, it applying this principle to our brains, so… Keep your brain healthy, take regular exercise classes to keep it active and healthy.
Jacqueline. A. Hinds
Emotional Intelligence Coach
Wilson Hinds Consulting Ltd
The views expressed by the writer are not necessarily the views of the Springboard Consultancy Ltd.