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Thursday, April 14, 2016

7 Ways Mindfulness Is the Key to Your Success At Work and Life

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Everything in your life, including your work, your relationships, and your health is impacted by how you:

  • Focus

  • Communicate

  • Control your emotions

  • Listen

  • Maintain your energy level

  • Make decisions

  • Prioritize what's important


Think about it. Whatever role you're putting the most energy into right now, whether it's as an employee, a spouse, a parent, or something else, you could benefit from mastering each of these seven skills.

But in the busyness of our daily lives, these often take a backseat to an ever increasing demand for our time and attention.

Seriously, with everything expected of you at home and work, when was the last time you were able to slow down and breathe, much less pay attention to developing your focus, communication, and these other skills?

My guess, it's been awhile. In fact, on most days you're probably feeling so overwhelmed, worried, and stressed that you're happy just to make it through another day.

Am I right?

If this sounds anything like the life you've been living, I mean existing in, I get it. Until a little over a year ago, I was feeling the same way.

Most days I was just going through the motions. I wanted more, I expected more, but instead I just settled for just surviving another day.

That is until I tried mindfulness meditation.

Starting with my first mindfulness meditation session a little more than one year ago, I went on to complete 270 sessions over the next twelve months, a fact I learned thanks to a neat little feature in the meditation app I use and recommend to my friends and coaching clients. My daily mindfulness practice is continuing to help me along in my journey to become my best self.

You can experience this, too. Here are seven ways mindfulness is the key to your success at work and life.

1. Mindfulness improves your focus.


While we're trying to finish one task, we're thinking of nine other tasks that still need doing. Mindfulness helps us to be aware of when were distracted by everything else we need to accomplish, and we're able to come back to and focus on the present.




2. Mindfulness enables effective communication.


Our minds are often so busy that when we're talking with others, our thoughts are elsewhere. When this happens, we are neither listening or speaking mindfully. Practicing mindfulness helps you clear your head of the other thoughts and be fully engaged in the conversation.




3. Mindfulness helps you regulate your emotions.


Many studies have shown that mindfulness is effective in helping you control your emotions. Through practicing mindfulness, become more aware of the changes in your emotions, and the triggers that affect your emotions. Then, using the breathing and visualization techniques you learn during mindfulness practice, you're able to acknowledge and process your emotions. I used to struggle with emotional outbursts, but over the past year, I've learned to control them.




4. Mindfulness increases your energy levels.


Reducing your worrying thoughts will leave you feeling more energized, as anxiety, stress, and worries sap your energy. Many have found mindfulness an effective treatment for even more severe cases anxiety, stress, and depression.




5. Mindfulness makes you a better listener.


When we're listening to others, we tend to focus on the next thing to say, or we're distracted by other thoughts. When that happens, we aren't paying full attention and we're not truly listening. As you learn to stay in the present and increase your awareness, it becomes much easier to stay focused and actively listen.




6. Mindfulness improves your decision making.


Making bad decisions can have long-lasting effects on your life. But with better focus, heightened awareness, and being in control of your emotions, the quality of your decision making improves significantly.




7. Mindfulness helps prioritize what's important.


Consciously or sub-consciously, we're prioritizing and acting on what we think we should be doing. Mindfulness helps you become more intentional about what's important to you and helps you to prioritize and align your goals and daily tasks. In turn, you will make time for and accomplish those goals in spite of all of the "urgent" stuff that gets thrown at you throughout your day.




WHAT NOW



I'm not a mindfulness expert. I'm just a regular guy who has discovered that mindfulness can make my life significantly better.

And don't just take my word for it. There's plenty of scientific research that backs up what I and many others have experienced - that mindfulness is the foundation for becoming your best self, and the starting point for success at work and life. In fact, more and more companies are encouraging mindfulness to improve work performance. Be sure to check with your company to see what they offer.

As you begin to develop this foundation, you'll see your abilities gradually improve in these seven areas. It won't happen overnight, but you'll start to see improvements in your performance at work, in the strength and fulfillment of your relationships, and in the quality of your health and well-being.

Mindfulness is being conscious of what you're feeling, more intentional about your behaviors, and more attentive to the impact you have on others. Experiment and find out what mindfulness practice works best for you.

I can't promise that your experience will be exactly like mine, but I have no doubt that a daily mindfulness practice will have a positive impact on your life, too.

Photo credit: endomedion / 123RF Stock Photo

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