Mindfulness for the Real World
March 3, 2017
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.” – Viktor FranklAt a recent planning session for our team, we spent quite a bit of time discussing mindfulness. Yes, mindfulness has become quite the buzzword lately, but what exactly is it? And what might it mean in the real world, outside the yoga studio? According to UC Berkeley’s Greater Good, mindfulness is defined as the following: "Mindfulness involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. Without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future." Mindfulness benefits us on an individual level (who doesn’t want to press pause on the constant to-do list running in our head?!), and it is also essential to business. By being more present in the moment, we can create a judgement-free space and allow ourselves to be truly creative and strategic. We can hear what others have to say and take pause before we respond. In this space we can innovate. But for those of us in the real world, mindfulness may seem like an unattainable, abstract concept. So, here are some quick, concrete tips to begin incorporating mindfulness into your day:
- Try just 10 mindful minutes every day. For beginners, check out Headspace, an app that helps you learn how to meditate and guides you through the practice.
- Short on time? Try a micro-meditation by focusing on your breath for one to three minutes, several times during the day. Notice how you’re breathing. If your mind wanders, just come back to the breath, without judging yourself for losing focus.
- Use mindfulness in action. Instead of adding another routine to your day, change the way you experience your day by paying focused attention to whatever activity you are engaged in at the moment, for seconds at a time. If you are in a meeting, try to really focus on the conversation at hand. As soon as you notice your mind wandering, bring your awareness back to where you are.