#4 Top 10 Tips
I want to share with you my Tip #4 for bringing meditation and mindfulness into your daily life.
This is one key exercise that I make sure that I share in all of my Corporate Meditation classes – because within the corporate world, doing this one Mindfulness practice can bring amazing benefits to the individual and team (and organization).
#Mindful Breath Awareness Exercise: before any meeting
One of my favorite practices for corporate teams is to start EVERY meeting (or a difficult telephone conversation, sales call or presentation) with a Mindful Meeting Minute.
We gather and allow one full minute for our minds to catch up with our physical bodies; so that we all become truly present to where we are, and what we are about to do. I also encourage setting an intention to be present and focused on the task at hand. Invariably, I have found that every meeting is markedly improved.
The Mindful Meeting Minute
Meetings often take up a significant part of our workday and having taken the time to plan and book the meeting, and convince multiple people to coordinate multiple diaries, it is vital that once in physical attendance, everyone is also productive and engaged.
In the current era of continuous partial attention – the process of paying simultaneous attention to a number of sources of incoming information, but at a superficial level – it is even harder for people to focus, listen and meaningfully contribute.
So, taking one minute at the start of any meeting to silently pause, can be a powerful practice that provides the space for everyone to check in with themselves, to consciously arrive mind, body, and spirit, and commit to bring their full presence and focus to the task at hand. In this space, we are more likely to be receptive to conversations, open to new ideas and creative in our problem-solving.
Simple Mindful Meeting Practice
*Invite everyone to settle into their chair and gently close their eyes (if comfortable to do so) or soften their gaze downward
*Share that the purpose of the Mindful Minute is to allow everyone to step away from the busyness and simply arrive fully into the present moment. Note that everyone has made the time to attend, leave their desk or last project, and are now HERE. So let us all take this moment to relax.
*You might ask the room .. where do they feel their attention is? this prompt can encourage people to reflect and also mindfully choose to refresh their attention
*Suggest that in the silence of the next one minute to simply notice, to watch the movement of the breath, and take the opportunity for a few deeper, longer, slower breaths (6-10 breaths is usually about one minute)
*Set a clock or timer for one minute of complete silence
*Before finishing, suggest an intention for the meeting, such as coming to a decision on a current project. Stating the intent of the meeting brings everyone to the same purpose and commitment to operate more mindfully for that goal
My Personal Pre-Meeting Practice
When working in the corporate sector there were days when I literally bounced from meeting to meeting, and where everyone around me was doing the same; moving (quickly) from one project to another, from internal meetings to resolve operational issues, to external meetings requiring persuasion and presentation. When the days and weeks meld into one long endless train of meetings .. the mind goes into auto-pilot, which inhibits engagement, effective communication, innovative thinking, and team dynamics.
When I found that my days were being consumed with back to back meetings .. I started scheduling a non-negotiable ten-minute ‘gap’ between each meeting; so that I could find somewhere to sit quietly and just breathe.
This pre-meeting self-meeting allowed a conscious pause so that I could download my mental load into a diary, journal or email, and clear the mental ‘deck’ before moving forward
You might have seen me, sitting in an office foyer or at a local park bench or cafe .. giving myself a moment to breathe and regroup. And sometimes, while in a meeting, I might also take a moment to soften my gaze, perhaps noticing the view outside the window, and bring my attention back to my breath and my body.
where is my awareness right now?
how is my breath traveling?
can I relax a little more?
When we become aware of our mental state, we have an opportunity to listen to what is going on internally and choose how we wish to be present. Coming from a place of curiosity, non-judgment, openness and compassion will result in a very different outcome; to the place of frustration, agitation or defensiveness. You. Choose.
Observing The Breath
How we breathe has a tremendous impact on how we ‘travel’ through our day. There is immense power and self-mastery in using our breath as a resource to change how we feel in any given moment
Need energy? Increase the length of your inhalation for a few breaths
Need to relax? Increase the length of your exhalation for a few breaths
Starting a meeting with some guided deep breathing, to slow down and lengthen the breath, is the quickest way to lower our heart rate and increase our sense of calm and ease, which promotes receptivity, connection, and focus.
It is well researched that ongoing and chronic stress can have a significant negative impact on our health and sense of wellbeing. Learning how to self-manage stress when you need to, and how to reset your focus and mood .. is an invaluable skill.
MONDAY 1st OCTOBER is the start of our FREE 7 Day Meditative Exercises Challenge where you will learn FIVE powerful Meditative Exercises to help circuit-break stress and tension throughout the day.