Mindfulness: Center Your Life, Business
It may be the latest trendy topic, but mindfulness is vital to our personal health, and therefore also affects how we perform professionally. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, meaning we are surrounded by people who could benefit from mindfulness. Maybe you’re one of them.
In a world of ever increasing demands for time and attention, focusing on what matters can lead to improved performance. I need regular assistance with this myself, and one of my secret weapons for mindfulness, stress relief and relaxation, other than my faith, is a form of hypnotherapy. Chamber partner and certified clinical and transpersonal hypnotherapist Lori Burke shares her top tips for mindfulness.
As Lori defines it, mindfulness is being in the present moment without judging thoughts or emotions as good or bad, right or wrong. A mindfulness practice can involve “anchoring” on an object of your attention (physical object, mantra, your breath) to remain in the present moment, and away from the past or future.
7 ways to practice mindfulness:
- Sit and close your eyes and take a few relaxing breaths. Open your eyes and focus your attention on an object, noticing its size, shape, color and texture, without judging it as good or bad, beautiful or unattractive. If judgmental thoughts enter your mind, allow them to gently dissipate as you continue to focus on the single object.
- Go outside and find a comfortable place to sit for a few moments. Close your eyes and take a few relaxing breaths. Notice each sound without judging what you’re hearing. Just listen.
- Relax in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and repeat an affirmation like, “I am calm and relaxed” or “I am centered and peaceful.” Focus all awareness on the word or sound you’re making.
- Establish a breathing practice. You can “watch” and notice the sensations of the breath as you slowly inhale and exhale. Or you can practice with a more structured, rhythmic method. Many breathing techniques exist; the key is to focus all awareness on your breath.
- Walking meditation. This involves being aware of your movements as you walk. Start standing, noticing the sensation your feet firmly grounded. Slowly begin walking in a relaxed manner and be mindful of each movement, from lifting your foot off the ground to moving it forward and setting it back down.
- Mindful listening. In conversations, listen to the other person’s words without judgment. Be sure to listen for understanding. Don’t begin to form your response until the other person is done speaking.
- Participate in a mindful creative activity such as coloring, knitting, painting, or any pastime that focuses your mind solely on the activity in the present moment.
Whether it’s hypnotherapy, prayer, exercise, yoga, meditation or simply taking time out to breathe, we can all benefit from bringing ourselves back to center and focusing on what truly matters. When we focus on what’s important, our business and our lives fall into place!
— Contributions by Lori Burke, certified clinical & transpersonal hypnotherapist, IAIH certified
President and CEO of the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Sugarman is a busy working mom to son, Emmett. She formed the Cocoa Beach Chamber’s Young Professionals Group in 2016, currently serves on the board for United Way of Brevard and is an active member in Brevard County’s business community.
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