Mindfulness is intentionally engaging attention in the present moment without judgment or expectation.
Whether hanging out with family, enjoying a sunset, or preparing a report at work, mindfulness includes the time we keep our mind engaged in those activities without automatic thinking.
Mindfulness Feels Good
Consider what your mind is doing when you feel stressed. Are you thinking about what went wrong in the past or what might go wrong in the future? As this picture suggests, a walk in the park will be pleasant or stressful based on what your mind is focused on.
Now, consider how it feels when you’re totally engaged in what you’re doing. It feels good when we get a break from the past and future. It also feels good when we get a break from our judgment about what’s unfair, frustrating, or boring.
Mindfulness is Productive
The quote “The future depends on what we do in the present” is powerful.
While it’s important to learn from the past and prepare for the future, the only time we can actually do anything is in the present. Life can only happen right now. Focusing attention on what we’re doing improves our outcomes.
How to be More Mindful
It’s easy to see the value of mindfulness. The harder part is becoming more mindful. To improve you need a proven process and time. You can use VP’s 3-Steps to get started:
Step 1 – Expect the Expected: Automatic thinking is a crucial mental function. We need our minds to survey our environment and consider past experiences and future possibilities.
Step 2 – SEE:
Separate – we are not our thoughts; the mind produces thoughts to give us information.
Embrace – observe thoughts as opinions and not facts and thank your mind for the messages.
Evaluate – consider what your mind is telling you and what, if anything, you should do about it.
Step 3 – Control the Controllable: You can do the following to be more mindful:
- Thought Interruption: When feeling stressed, realize that it’s temporary and occasionally interrupt your thoughts by bringing attention to the present.
- Make the Present Primary: Life only happens now, so make what you’re doing primary even when your thoughts say it’s unimportant.
- New Eyes: The mind wanders when we do the routine. Try to experience familiar activities and people like they’re new to you. This is referred to as “new eyes.”
Mindfulness takes time and practice, but it’s worth it. And it’s only part of VP’s program for creating Performance Mindset™.
Let us help you improve the mindfulness and mindset in your organization.
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