Mindfulness: Yoga Warm Down to Boardroom Staple
How much would you pay to be more creative, energised and engaged?
What would it mean to you to perform better, feel less stressed, more focussed and procrastinate less?
Before reaching for your contactless payment method, imagine achieving the above with a quick, easy (and free) technique. Sounds appealing.
In fact, so appealing that an increasing number of executives are propelling mindfulness ahead of many other recreational activities.
Already a billion-dollar industry, mindfulness was seen as the pastime of yoga enthusiasts or spiritualists with little connection to organisational reality. No more.
The technique of mindfulness involves intentionally noticing what is happening now in the present (mind, body and environment) without judging. Sounds airy fairy? It’s not.
Done consistently, meditation is scientifically proven to support sharper attention, memory and emotional agility. Not to mention, a reduction in anxiety and a greater ability to bounce forward from stress.
Its no wonder then that meditation has infiltrated corner offices and commuter-belt residences of C-Suite high-flyers.
Where the world of work can often bring unmanageable workloads, external stressors and daily negative emotions, mindfulness can bring an inner calm. So, if it can work for top brass, it can work for you.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Becoming more aware of where you are and what you’re doing, without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
While mindfulness might seem simple, it’s not necessarily all that easy. The real work is to make time every day to just keep doing it. Here’s a short practice to get you started:
- Take a seat. Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
- Set a time limit of 5 or 10 minutes.
- Notice your body. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor or any way you feel comfortable.
- Feel your breath. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes out and as it goes in.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. Inevitably, your attention will wander to other places. When you notice this, simply return your attention to your breath.
- Don’t judge yourself or your thoughts. Just gently bring your attention back to your breath.
That’s the practice. Give it a go and let us know how you got on. Finally, meditation is not just another “thing to do”.
Whether you’re a CEO of FTSE 100 or a student, scientific research has demonstrated the enormous benefits of, well, doing very little.