Mindfulness leads to Joy and Productivity

Mindfulness leads to Joy and Productivity

Health & Wellness Leadership Lifestyle

We are hard-pressed to find a leader, an entrepreneur, or an employee who doesn’t want to be more focused, more productive, and less stressed. We live in the most fast-paced, over-stimulated, multi-tasked time in history. And focus has never been so challenging!

In fact, during 47% of our waking hours we are thinking about something other than what we’re doing. Another way to look at this is that roughly half the time, we’re not actually focused on what we are doing. Half the time!  We won’t bother speculating on why that is, however we might surmise that if we could change it, we would.

Mindfulness is the solution.

Mindfulness is the mental state achieved when focusing one’s attention on the present moment. That means we’re not focused on the past, reviewing events, analyzing what’s taken place, or feeling bad about what’s happened.  And we’re also not focused on the future, planning our next steps, imagining what if, or feeling worry or anxiety about some future possibility.  Mindfulness is having your full attention in the moment, on whatever you are doing, feeling, saying or hearing right now.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, one of the most common being meditation. And while thousands of corporations around the world are offering mindfulness training to their employees, there are so many different approaches, that there is still much confusion about what it is.

The benefits of mindfulness at work include

  • Improved mood and morale (increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions)
  • Improved productivity (increases focus, changes brain regions linked to learning and memory)
  • Better teamwork (fosters compassion toward others, enhances relationships)
  • Reduced sick leave (boosts the immune system)
  • Reduced stress

The simple approach to Mindfulness that I teach is mastering the combination of relaxation and awareness, so that the mind can remain focused, clear and present. This is a skill-building process.  Learning the skill of deep relaxation and the skill of heightened awareness, while training the mind to enter these states at will, provides us with a powerful asset.  Imagine what’s possible when your mind is able to remain calm and focused, regardless of what is going on around you and what you are experiencing.  That’s the beauty of mindfulness.

Here is a simple exercise that can help you right now.  It’s called Pausing to Breathe. It takes just 2-3 minutes, and even that will be challenging for many of you.  Begin by putting your pen or your device down and turning away from any screens.  In a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.  Proceed to take 5 deep breaths in and out, while you keep your focus on the breath.  Notice how it feels as the air passes through your nose and mouth, how it fills up your lungs, then how it moves out as your lung push, and the feeling of the breath passing your lips or nose on the way out. Use curiosity about the breath to keep your attention on it.  And ignore distractions for the full 2 minutes.  If your mind wanders, as soon as you notice it wandering, then bring your attention back to the breath.

Do this Pausing to Breathe practice several times a day and you’ll feel refreshed, centered and more focused.

And if you would like to bring mindfulness training into your workplace or group, let me know.  I’d be happy to discuss possibilities with you.

Until next time,

Sue

15 Ways Hypnosis Accelerates Change

15 Ways Hypnosis Accelerates Change

Personal Growth

I’ve been asked a lot lately, “What’s so great about hypnosis?” so I thought I’d provide our readers some of the incredible results of hypnosis.

In Canada, hypnosis has only been in the mainstream for a little over a decade and as a result, its benefits are not yet well understood.  In its simplest form, hypnosis offers a way of communicating with, and enlisting the help of, the most powerful untapped resource within us all: the unconscious mind.  When we give suggestions to the unconscious mind for behaviour change, well-being, or changes in sensation (eg. pain), this powerful processor assists us in ways that are outside our conscious awareness.

Check out these fascinating statistics on Hypnosis:

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy create accelerate change to address:

  1. Weight
  2. Stress
  3. Smoking
  4. Phobias
  5. Low Self-Esteem / Confidence
  6. Chronic pain
  7. Anxiety
  8. Motivation
  9. Athletic performance
  10. Memory
  11. Public speaking anxiety
  12. Depression
  13. Self-improvement
  14. Goal setting
  15. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Find out how you can learn hypnosis in one weekend in our Hypnotherapy Certification Weekend in Newmarket, Ontario on January 27-29, 2012.

 

A New Kind of Leader

A New Kind of Leader

Leadership Personal Growth

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein

For some reason this quote has been ringing in my ears as I look at the world we’re living in with birds dropping dead out of the sky, extreme weather patterns wreaking havoc around the globe,

economic volatility unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes, and soaring fuel and food prices.  More than ever before, a new kind of leadership is being called for to get us through or we’re surely not going to make it… succumbing to the ironic fate of our own species’ making.

It will be the unconventional and unofficial leaders that will emerge to make a difference, challenge the status quo, dare to share a new dream.  Because so many of the designated leaders are blinded and bound by the system in which they operate, they can’t remove themselves sufficiently to get a realistic view of the situation.

These challenging times call for full spectrum leaders, according to Richard Barrett, world renowned for his cultural transformation tools and seven levels of consciousness model. Solving today’s problems requires a higher level of consciousness than that which created the problems to begin with.

So as you go about your day or week, as you make choices and decisions, try making them not from your past experiences or from your beliefs (which are often limiting in possibilities) but rather make your decisions from your personal values.  What choice is most in alignment with my values and therefore my aspirations and vision for the future?  THAT is how we create the future anew, without the shackles of past experiences and beliefs that constrain us.

I highly recommend Richard Barrett’s latest project – more than a book; a learning system – called The New Leadership Paradigm: http://tnlp.valuescentre.com/

What do you notice is different when you make values-based decisions, rather than business-as-usual decisions?