Set Up Your Practice
Welcome to the Mindfulness-Based Executive Coaching
This is a 3-minute exercise to be done twice a day, possibly in the morning as soon as you wake up and in the evening before going to sleep. Body Scan focuses attention on different parts of your body with a non-judgemental attitude, alert to whatever sensations may be present in each area. All you need to do is following the instructions in the audio below.
During a Body Scan exercise we are opening up to every physical sensation we may have in our body. By doing this we can be aware of every single part of our body and we are developing a better relationship with it.
We are learning to accept every sensation without judgement, even when there is pain or discomfort. Even when sensations are bothering us, we are learning a wiser way to approach to them.
We are improving our ability to respond rather than react.
There are many ways to practise Body Scan; usually people do it lying down, but in a workplace it can be done sitting in a chair or even standing, maybe when you are queuing for something. You can do it in the morning or in the evening, for 3 or 30 minutes
Use your phone alarm to remind you to focus your attention on your breathing. This exercise will take no more than 30 seconds.
Set your phone with 3 random alarms over the day, selecting a discreet audio notification, similar to the one the alerts you to receiving a text. Then, each time you hear the alarm, focus your attention on the movement of your body as you breathe, for just one in-breath and one out-breath. For more information you can watch the video below.
Mindfulness practice may be a promising and effective method for leader development. Some previous research suggest that mindfulness can be learnt and developed by executive leaders, as long as they practice for at least 10 min per day.
TAKING A MINDFUL MOMENT
This week, you are encouraged to do this exercise at least once. Your Mindful Moment will be during a walk.
It may be the walk to your office or walking to your car at the end of day or any short walk of your choice. The duration of the exercise can range from 10 seconds to 5 minutes.
Very important: I suggest that you schedule this exercise the day before you do it.
Video suggested but not necessary to watch:
What is Mindful Walking Exercise? Very often, we walk to get from one place to another, so this is something we have a lot of opportunities to practise. The aim of this exercise is to connect with the present moment using the movement and sensations of the body. During this exercise it is crucial to use the sensations coming from your feet as an anchor for your attention. So, each time you find your mind wandering into thinking just bring it back to your feet.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS
In Jon Kabat-Zinn's words, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally”. In other words, mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives, it is paying attention to the present-moment experience with open curiosity and a willingness to be with what is.
The most important thing to learn in mindfulness practice is awareness of our bodies and we can learn this by practising the Body Scan exercise.
This practice has two aims. The first is to let your attention rest on the focus you are using, such as your breathing, sounds or physical sensations. The second is developing an attitude of acceptance towards whatever is happening in the environment around you or inside your mind
MINDFULNESS IN DAILY LIFE
This is a way to practise mindfulness that does not involve sitting uncomfortably cross-legged on the floor, but rather is practised in an invisible way that does not take time out of your day. It is a gentle awareness of the present moment during daily activities, such as walking, washing dishes, listening or writing an email. When we are taking a Mindful Moment, we are bringing mindfulness into our daily life. What feelings, thoughts and sensations do you notice while doing your activities mindfully? A good exercise may be pausing before shifting to a new activity, perhaps taking 2 or 3 deep breaths and being aware of the air going in and out of the body.
Week 2 - How Mindfulness changes your brain enhancing decision-making processes