Mindfulness is evermore accepted in the mainstream as an effective way to balance the mind and body. More and more organisations and businesses are recognising the benefits of training their employees in the art of mindful living. This acceptance isn't altogether altruistic because it has significant benefits for the organisation by making the employee more productive and efficient.
Here at The Cumbria hypnosis hypnotherapy and mindfulness clinic our entire philosophy when it comes to treating any kind of psychological imbalance is teaching our clients how to be mindful whether dealing with negative behaviours, feelings or emotions.
Learning to become more mindful at work especially in the office can create a more effortless experience of the working day.
When you learn to stop and become more mindful in all of your working activity you can step off the hamster wheel, create some space and allow your natural mental processes to flow rather than to come to a grinding halt, which is often associated with frustration and a growing sense of stress.
Step one - Learn to pause at work. Make this pause as purposeful as you possibly can. Before even coming to work choose to start the day in the right way by learning to breathe before even getting out of bed. Frame a purposeful and productive day simply by imagining it being the way you want it to be.
Step two - Make your daily commute to work one which is free from distraction. If you tend to listen to the radio or are constantly aware of your phone then switch both off and instead concentrate on mindful breathing so that you can arrive at your destination feeling clearer and more engaged. Learn more about exercising mindful driving here
Step three - if you tend to walk between meetings, once again switch off your phone so you are not distracted by emails or text messages. Get used to feeling your feet on the floor and the air entering your lungs. Take the opportunity to acknowledge colleagues as you pass them and smile.
Step four - As you find yourself sitting at your desk staring at your computer screen, turn your gaze away from your screen for a moment and focus on something else on your desk maybe even bring in an object which is symbolically significant to you and makes you smile. Now study this object without any great thought. As you stare allow your breathing to become more regulated and rhythmic. If you want to close your eyes just for a few moments then go ahead and do that. Try to recreate the object in your minds eye or in your imagination. Amplify it's quality by changing its brightness and clarity. Play a piece of music in your mind that you associate with this particular object and note is the effect it has on your body and mind. Now bring your awareness back into the moment open your eyes and continue doing whatever you were doing.
Step five - Use any break time during your day to get away from the office. If the weather is kind to you go outside sit on a bench and observe your environment. In effect give yourself a chance to switch off the background stress which naturally builds up without us even being aware. See background stress like the apps on your smartphone. After a while we forget to switch off numerous apps but they are still running in the background draining the battery. Mindfulness teaches you how to switch off the 'apps' and restore full power to the system.
If you find you cannot incorporate all five steps at once, then build up gradually by practising one skill each day until you master it.
Here is what Simon from Kendal said about his experience with his mindfulness training.
"I have a highly pressured role, I had heard about mindfulness on the radio but had never quite understood what it meant. As far as I was concerned it was some new-age fad which only hippies would pursue. I couldn't be more wrong. Thanks to the training David taught me I was able to establish a framework which has allowed me to feel far more in control, happier and balanced."
Please take a look at other blog posts under this particular category for more information.
Until next time
Be mindful and have a peaceful day.
So why would you choose to practice mindfulness while driving?
There are numerous reasons why being mindful while driving can be incredibly beneficial to a daily commuter. First of all through being more 'present' while driving and not having your mind elsewhere you can better learn to enhance your focus rather than reduce it. Many road accidents tend to result from people driving without due care and attention because, for one reason or another, their minds are more focused on the day ahead rather than the road ahead. Apart from making driving safer, mindul driving can also ease the stress associated with commuting so that you can arrive at your destination more energised, refreshed and focused, rather than frustrated, irritable and unproductive.
Let's try a short exercise. Next time you are driving try switching off your phone, or at least make sure its silent or placed where it can't distract you. Avoid eating and just for this exercise, as a kind of experiment, switch off any background music or radio so that you can give your full attention to the exercise. Now as a first step, give your full attention to what's going on around you. Notice everything from the cars, trucks, bikes in front to any you can see with the use of your side and rear view mirrors. Notice your speed, if you know intuitively that you are going faster than the limit try slowing down. Remember this is just an experiment to teach your subconscious more mindful living. With me still? Great let's continue….
Back to driving within the speed limit. Too often we are in a hurry to get somewhere even though it's only an illusion born out of our 'go go go' society. You are more likely to reduce stress by driving slower if you know as a rule you may not always honour the code. Moreover you will also be setting a good example to all drivers. Just making this very small change can help you switch out of the normal habitual state of mind, which for most people is part of the subconscious norm which is responsible for more stress in life than we actually need. Next instead of focusing on your radio or background music which actually can make you more mindless than mindful, focus more on your breathing as you drive. Take a deep breath in through your nose and as you exhale, breathe slowly out through your mouth while paying attention to how calm that out breath makes your entire body feel. Repeat this over and over and as with any new habit you will begin to realise that not only is your mind feeling more clear but you are more readily able to concentrate on your driving almost without effort. Instead of getting lost in trains of thought, you can feel more present and aware. At first your mind may try to wander, so simply keep bringing your attention back to your breathing each and every time this happens until it becomes trained to 'behave'.
While driving and as you keep the majority of your attention on your driving, turn a percentage toward your bodily sensations. Scan for any tension and release that tension if you can. Be aware of any feelings of ligament or muscle tension in your head, shoulders, neck, back, torso, hips, legs, calves and feet and simply choose to let those areas go limp loose and relaxed. If you can't then just be aware of whatever comes and accept that awaress. This is what we refer to as mindfulness. Next you can open your attention to your surroundings again. If you approach a red light, try to slow down and see the red light as an opportunity to pause rather than something you should resist. The red light is there to remind you to pause. While you pause take some more mindful breaths maybe focus on the colour of the sky or shape of the clouds or if you are in the UK more likely listen to sound of the rain. With practice you can end up looking forward to the red light instead of dreading it, seeing it as a chance to breathe and refocus.
Even traffic jams can become a mindful experience. Realising that the traffic is already there you can learn through mindfulness to accept not resist. Fighting the traffic, constantly trying to win the lane battle, ultimately makes no difference. Instead let your mindful attitude encourage smiling and again just focusing on the breaths. Use this time to glance at other drivers and mentally wish them well. This may sound an unsual practice, but as you do this you will notice your attitude automatically becoming more friendly toward other drivers. Even when someone cuts you up while driving use the same technique to wish them well and hope they will be happy. You will find that swearing at people or feeling angry has only one outcome to enhance your overall stress and it's too late anyway so just let it go and return your thoughts to your breathing.
Mindfulness can help the journey be far more enjoyable and can make the entire experience on average sixty to eighty percent safer and more focused. As you drive in this mindful way, feeling more present, value your driving and arrive at your destination in a far more positive and balanced frame of mind.
Here at the Cumbria Hypnosis Mindfulness clinic we teach several strategies as well as mindfulness to anyone wishing to overcome any limiting belief, behaviour or emotion. If you would like to learn more then please click here
Wishing you a balanced and positive day
David Faratian (NLP Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist)
So what exactly is mindfulness? One my client’s from Kendal recently asked me what was the ‘big deal’ about mindfulness? There's a great deal of buzz and interest at the moment about this word, especially in education and conventional medicine. So here it is - In its simplest terms, mindfulness is about being present in the moment while you calmly reflect on your feelings and thoughts and bodily sensations as you experience them in the here and now without forcing them or resisting them in any way. When you can be fully present, without resisting or trying to shy away from your feelings and emotions, then you start to create a space around you which allows you to take hold more effectively of the situations you face and the choices you make. Life is full of challenges, but when we are mindful we are better able to work with our minds and bodies so that we can deal with our life’s anxieties and stresses far more effectively.
Trying to be mindful on a day-to-day basis does require a certain amount of learning and patience, but once you learn to be mindful the new perspective which you can get on your life can be fundamentally life changing. The reason mindfulness is being accepted more and more within conventional medicine is because it is seen as one of the many psychological tools that can be equally if not more effective than embarking on a course of medication as prescribed by most general practitioners. Many of my referrals from GPs are directly related to mindfulness training.
Mindfulness is not new either. With its origins in Buddhism, it has been around for thousands of years, only recently however being accepted by Western health care. The reason I mention it here, is because hypnotherapy, and all the techniques which are utilised here at the Cumbria Hypnosis Clinic have their roots in mindfulness practices. For over a decade now, the mindfulness therapy which I have been using has helped hundreds of people to deal with their everyday stresses, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders, as well as dealing with more general negative behaviours like smoking and gambling.
“Once I learned the self hypnosis techniques (mindfulness techniques) shown to me by David, I have been able to sleep better, I have a much better appetite, and things just don’t get to me as easily” Paul Carter (Penrith, Cumbria)
The great news is that anyone can learn how to become skilful in mindfulness, children, teenagers and adults alike can benefit from this simple yet life changing practice. Although there are many different ways you can develop your ability to be more mindful, the most effective way to become more knowledgeable is by being trained on a one-to-one basis with a trained mindfulness teacher. My experience with mindfulness extends over a period of 10 years. Not only do I use mindfulness within my hypnotherapy clinic with all my clients on a daily basis, but I have also taught children and other practitioners how to use the most cutting edge mindfulness strategies to help overcome any limiting belief or behaviour.
If you would like an opportunity to discuss your mindfulness goals with me then you can contact me directly by clicking on this link.
Have a peaceful day