Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that practicing mindfulness is good for you. Mindfulness trains the mind just like physical exercise trains the body. It helps increase focus and creativity, reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, boosts efficiency.
In this post, you’ll read about top 4 reasons why I believe you should add this incredible tool to your life… asap.
But first, let me ask you a question.
How often do your thoughts wander off to something unrelated while you are listening to a client, colleague, your child or spouse?
Do you ever hang up after an important phone conversation only to replay what’s been said over and over in your mind, rather than focus on next task?
Do you tend to stress about work when you are not in the office?
All this happened to me a lot before I began to meditate and practice mindfulness daily. I recently found a picture of myself with my older son back from when we were living in NYC. My son is telling me something, gesticulating, while I am there physically present, yet looking distracted and preoccupied…
Reason # 1
The biggest reason you need to practice mindfulness is
To learn to manage your mind.
Studies show that your mind – like any human mind — wanders 47 percent of the time on average, without your awareness or intention. That makes half of your waking hours.
That figure is much higher if we take into account all the digital distractions: in today’s fast-paced world of hyper-connectivity, incessant solicitations and information overload, it is becoming increasingly difficult to disconnect after work.
Managing one’s mind has become an essential skill to master.
The quality of our focus and presence determines not only the quality and efficiency of our work (you probably know by now that multitasking is a big lie), it impacts the quality of our relationships directly — with coworkers and clients at work, and our children, partners and friends at home.
Mindfulness and meditation also helps us be clearer about our priorities and goals, rather than spend most of our time putting out “fire drills” or reacting to events.
Finally, when we learn to manage our mind, we’re able to slow down and redefine our biggest priorities and goals in a way that is more meaningful to us.
Reason # 2
You will make more powerful decisions.
When faced with a problem or a task, what tools and resources do you use to make a decision? You’ll probably answer: my head, the brain, data or facts.
What if I told you that only 1 to 5 percent of your decisions are made consciously?
According to neuroscientists, up to 99 percent of our decisions, actions and behavior comes from our subconscious mind, which stores all our fears, limiting beliefs and negative stories.
If we add the fact that our nervous system is primarily geared towards survival and wants us to avoid change at all costs, you’ll see that our decision-making capacity is, to say the least, limited, and most of our decisions are based on old fears and past beliefs.
Should we then be surprised that most of us do not get to achieve our biggest dreams and goals?
Mindfulness, along with NLP and hypnotherapy, allows us to raise our level of consciousness about our fears, triggers and beliefs, so we get away from that cycle of old programming, and make much more conscious and powerful decisions.
Reason # 3
You will be more authentic and self-confident.
If you are like me, you were brought up in a household where beating yourself up after a mistake was the cure.
That’s how many of us, women, were brought up.
Here’s the thing:
It is impossible to be authentic, genuine and self-confident when you constantly doubt and second-guess yourself.
The number 1 barrier to higher self-confidence, authenticity and assertiveness is self-judgement.
The Imposter Syndrome, self-doubts, guilt, emotional reactivity — those are all manifestations of our pre-programmed negative self-judgement. If you do nothing about it, negative self-talk and self-judgement will stall your success at work, and can also strain your relationships at work, as well as at home.
In a very powerful way, emotional intelligence and mindfulness have helped me — as well as dozens of my clients — to become aware of and release my self-judgement and learn to treat myself with kindness, acceptance and compassion.
Reason # 4
You will be happier and have better relationships.
You may already know that human brain has a hard-wired bias towards negativity.
That bias makes us see what doesn’t go well with our day or life much more quickly and steals on our life satisfaction. It also tricks us into making 3 common mistakes: we overestimate threats, we underestimate opportunities presented to us, and we underestimate our resources (for dealing with threats and fulfilling opportunities).
For instance, we have a tendency to interpret emails we receive largely negatively. If you’re a normal human being, you must have reacted to an email at least once in a way that you later regretted.
Practicing mindfulness helps us raise our awareness of moments when negative thoughts and interpretations pop up in our head, e.g. usually when we are tired, stressed, under-slept, which then allows us to choose our response rather than react from autopilot.
By doing that, mindfulness rewires our brain towards seeing the glass as half-full, and feel happier, more resilient and optimistic.
Now, if you’re wondering “Where do I sign up?“, here are some ways to kick-start your mindfulness practice.
If you like to learn in a group setting:
- Organise an “Introduction to Mindfulness” workshop for your team over lunchtime. Contact me for details.
- Join my next Mindfulness for Women’s Self-Confidence course.
- Find and join an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course near you.
If you prefer individual learning:
- Download a mindfulness app such as “Headspace” (in English) or “Petit Bambou” (in French) and set 10 minutes every day for your daily practice.
- Ask me about VIP 1:1 coaching and mindfulness programmes for women.