In part one of Leading with mindfulness, we talked about the 90-minute break. Good news: it's not a non-stop 90 minutes! Incorporate 10-minute breaks nine times by paying attention with simple, mindful practices in your work day, like LUNCH! (mindful eating.)
If taking breaks feels like wasting time, try to remember that you’re renewing yourself in preparation for the next energy expenditure in front of you. But before that, learn about mindfulness from Andy Puddicombe. Sit back. Breathe deeply. Watch or listen (you don’t need to sit in the lotus position or a meditation cushion).
Mindfulness exercises that will strengthen your focus and attention, help you manage stress and regulate your emotions include:
#1 Mindfulness at work. This chart offers specific mindfulness techniques for the challenges that affect you at work. Jeremy Hunter, PhD, who created the chart and is featured in the Working With Mindfulness video offers simple tips on how to use mindfulness at work – how to “return to focusing on your breathing” and “paying attention in difficult moments” that can help you reframe what you view as a problem.
#2 Mindful walking meditation. Walking is something we “do on autopilot,” according to Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein in “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook.” The object of this exercise is to bring your awareness to the experience of your feet as you are taking each step.
#3 Mindfulness apps are increasingly popular because they help guide you when you feel exhausted and don’t want to think about how to do something.
As you develop mindfulness practices that suit your circumstances, you will increase your emotional intelligence, especially self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy. Mindfulness exercises are a way to “intentionally practice the habits and rituals that give life to your vital self, and keep you engaged with your enduring leadership vision.”