Mindfulness has been very dear to both me and Emma’s hearts in the last few years. It was a complete game-changer for me in the way I was living and leading in my life. As someone that has suffered mental health challenges in the past, I’m a passionate advocate of thinking about your mental health in the same way you would think about your physical health.
Perhaps you can relate?
Several years ago before my wellness journey began, who I was as a leader in life and business was very different. I wore my busyness addiction as a badge of honor. I made massive personal sacrifices in order to feel like I was ‘doing a great job’. I was working millions of hours, constantly stressed and burning out in both my body and mind.
In my mind, I started to feel quite isolated, distracted all the time and often unable to focus. My inner critic was reaching a fever pitch and to say I had poor mental health and a sense of depression was an understatement.
The changing work environment is compounding this
This scenario is all too common these days due to the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), work environment that we are operating in and communication technology fuels the ‘always on’ nature of our work lives.
Research from the Mindful Leadership Institute revealed that 47% average time is spent mind-wondering; 70% of leaders report regularly being unable to be attentive in meetings, and 2% regularly make time to enhance personal productivity.
Does any of this sound familiar?
So if you are reading this and thinking ‘this is me!’ you would not be alone. Our clients, friends, and family are struggling with the same challenges I was.
If you have a sense you are feeling ‘mentally fried’ (technical term!) Your ‘monkey mind’ is distracting you with a million thoughts or you are second-guessing your decisions, then you’re probably in your mind all the time.
Start practicing getting out of your head and back to listening to your body. We asked our meditation teach Jaye Carcary to provide some advice on the best mindfulness techniques he uses in our programs to start this process.
Jaye says “your thoughts are simply words, noise that is happening around you, and not to you. With every breath, you have the choice to disconnect yourself from your thoughts, as you mindfully rest in the stillness that lives in you.”
3 Great practices to get you started
1) Bodyscan Meditation
For those new, to meditation, he recommends starting with a ‘body scan meditation’ designed to guide you to shift from your mind back into your body. We love Jaye’s 20 minute guided relaxing body scan meditation which you can check out now for free!
2) Mindful Daily journaling
You could also try journaling to clear your cluttered thoughts and get everything in your head out onto paper so you can let things go and be in your body again. Here are 4 steps to getting started;
- Grab your favourite journal and pen
- Sit down before bed and write continuously, not letting your pen leave the page – this is called ‘free writing’
- ‘free write’ everything that is coming to mind be it prior in the day or in the moment
- When the flow begins to slow, tapper off, pop down the journal and hop into bed
This for us promotes a restful and deep sleep. Give it a go or find out more techniques here.
3) Mindful Walking
My personal favourite. I head out most mornings on a mindful walk where I connect more deeply with nature and my own internal state, checking in how my mind and body are feeling. To activate more mindfulness when you are out walking bring your attention to what is around you using your 5 senses;
- Take in the beautiful colours with your eyes
- Feel the wind on your skin
- Hear the birds tweeting
- Smell the fresh cut grass
- Taste the salt from the ocean on your lips
The more you practice these techniques the more you will train your attention to become mindful in the present moment, getting that ‘monkey’ firmly off your back!
P.S. Whenever you’re ready…here are 3 ways we can help you personally or, the people within your company, thrive more;
- Grab a free copy of our ‘Whole-System LeadershipTM’ assessment & plan
It’s the roadmap to start making a difference today to your energy levels and your ability to find a better sense of balance between work and life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with “assessment” in the subject line and we’ll ping it over to you.
- Join our ‘Energised Leaders’ Facebook Group
It’s our community where you’ll get the latest research, tips, and tools to stay energised yourself and share progress with a supported and like-minded community looking to make a difference to themselves and the people around them. Please email email@example.com putting “energised” in the subject line and we’ll join you to the group.
- Work with me and my team privately
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to support you to adopt a ‘mindfulness-based-approach’ in how you lead or with your team, email firstname.lastname@example.org putting “private” in the subject line….tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together and I’ll get you all the details.