a thought from the blog

Boost your focus and performance with Mindfulness

by | Jun 3, 2016

Mindfulness is a state of mind, your mind becomes a platform from which you can focus and direct your energy for different purposes. There are many disciplines and practices that can cultivate mindfulness, however, you need to develop your way in order for it to be sustainable. The best way to start is to find a mind something that you feel comfortable with and enjoy doing. Once you get a grip around the techniques, you can customize it to become your personal routine. This enables you to get in to the state of mind or “zone” faster and with less effort faster which is beneficial in stressful situations where you need to perform or make important decisions.

What do I mean with mindfulness?

Firstly let me explain what I mean whit “mindfulness” as it’s a widely used concept. It may take your mind to a low light studio with incense and candles where you sit in cozy clothes meditating… what I talk about are not that type (even though the core philosophy and techniques may be similar). The type of mindfulness I refer to is the one we can make use of in our everyday lives, help us focus and perform at our best, deal with unexpected stations we get thrown in to in the best possible way. Think about an athlete in the zone rather then a Tibetan monk.

Another way of explaining mindfulness is that it’s a state of mind where you are calm, your mind is clear and you are aware of everything that’s going on in the moment with yourself and in your surrounding. You are being fully present and aware of the moment you are in, while calmly observing and acknowledging feelings, thoughts and your environment without actively trying to force them away or hold on to them.

So.. how do I use it and what can it do for you?

A “mindful state of mind” creates space to observe and reflect, and it can make us respond in new ways in different situations. From this “neutral” state of mind, it’s much easier to focus; top athlete’s uses these techniques but calls it visualization. When they need to block out distractions such as a large crowd, deal with nerves or fight their way back from a disadvantage.

I find this very useful before going in to a high stake meeting or conversation, as it helps me to let go of previous impression from the day, which may affect my mood or concentration. I usually sit for a minute or two going through my process in my mind and breath deeply to get in my mindful state. From here I can focus on my intentions, visualize the outcomes and the best way of getting there, I can see the different angles and the situation from the opposite side. It makes me more present which makes me more focused, responsive and engaged

You can use it to deal with pressure under stressful situations. It’s hard to focus when you are in the middle of a work storm and you will most likely become the less good version of yourself. But if you can learn how to pause, take a step back, look at the whole picture while physically and actively winding down yourself to get in to your recharge zone for a moment, you will be able to jump back in to it, energized and focused.

Also, as we do not have full control all the time, practicing mindfulness can learn us how to live with more acceptance to the thing out of our control, which automatically lead to less anxiety.

How can you become more “mindful” and take advantage of it?

Well there is no way around that you need to take a brake at some point and do some actual mind work. I would say that the firs step is to pause from the daily routine and take a step back (in your mind or literally). Everyone prefers different things and you need to find your thing.

In my opinion it’s about facilitating your thoughts and mind in specific way, but it’s also as much about the physical process as well, for me deep breathing and making sure to expand the lungs and stretch the back is one of the most effective ways to help me get in to my zone, my body and mid has learnt that when I do this I am suppose to go focus and recharge. What I do if I have time and I feel I need a energy boost during a busy day (and my days can get intense..) Is to either take a walk or go sit somewhere with a good view and do my mind and breathing routine.

Several disciplines and practices can cultivate mindfulness, those self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to foster general mental well being and development and specific capacities such as calmness, clarity and concentration would be recommended.

Making mindfulness a priority or a frequent aspect of daily life requires training and a lot of practice. The trick is, as I mentioned, to develop your own way.

If you have been reading this far, I would assume that you are open to try a quick exercise. >> Click here to get to my blog article about how deep breathing can help you focus and re-energize including a quick exercise.

Interested to learn more about to boost your performance and focus with the help of mindfulness? Zenergy Management programs can help you develop a customized toolbox and develop your own process?

Don’t hesitate to contact me on jonathan.yukawa@oxfordleadership.com


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