Mind the gap

At some point we allowed the busyness of life to take over, we put the autopilot on to make life less stressful, to escape. At some point we forgot how important it is to be present in the moment, here and now.

Mindfulness is a practice used to focus our minds on the beauty of the present moment, shifting our thoughts away from what may be causing us pain.

If you think mindfulness is not for you (like me a couple of years ago), you may want to use the system 2 of your brain for this, don’t jump to conclusions so quickly. Explore it deeper before giving up on it because the benefits of mindfulness are starting to be proven by science. And the good news is that we all have the capacity of being mindful if we choose to.

When we are mindful we pay attention to our actions, we notice what is around us and observe carefully, with curiosity and acceptance but without judgement. This attention gives us more knowledge of the moment we are living in and allows us to have a wider perspective on things. And this can be an incredible super power to have in both, our personal and professional lives.

It is not only the proven benefits on well-being and mental health that are great. We can use mindfulness to be better professionals, better friends, better spouses… better humans.

When we are stressed and allow ourselves to lose control of who we want to be or where we want to go, we also lose sight and miss on opportunities we would have otherwise seen if only we were aware of the present moment.

Often, all we need is to give ourselves permission to have a 5 minute break (undisturbed), breath in, close our eyes and focus on the moment. Without judging, embrace the emotions we are feeling and try to understand them; or notice a body sensation or maybe an urge/craving and replace that with the certainty that it will pass; or simply focus on how the air fills our lungs and gives our bodies the oxygen to be alive.

Something special happens when we stop worrying about the future, when we stop stressing about what has happened in the past and start living in the present moment.

Thinking about our careers, mindfulness can provide us the headspace we need to be intentional about the impact we want to have, to see options and solutions that otherwise we wouldn’t consider. Through mindfulness we can be more intentional about how we interact with those around us and the actions we take in our day to day, ultimately driving the progress of our careers.

Right now, take 5 minutes to think about where you are. Sit up tall, close your eyes and simply listen to what is around you. Feel the weight of your body on the chair or sofa where you are sitting; feel your lungs filling up with the air that energises each part of your body; acknowledge the thoughts that are front of mind and accept them, don’t judge yourself.

How are you feeling now?

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