My definition of Mindfulness
This past week I've been immersed in corporate mindfulness training with Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. My mind is buzzing with the energy of learning new ideas, nerding out on neuroscience and reconnecting with the belief that started my company in the first place - that mindfulness matters.
So let's talk mindfulness - what does it really mean? To me, mindfulness is the space between your thoughts and emotions where you have the ability to respond instead of reacting to challenging situations. It's the space to process what is going on so you can respond in a conscious way that is aligned with your emotions and feelings.
Do you have to be on a yoga mat to experience this incredible way of being? Absolutely not. Mindfulness is something that you can take with you from the boardroom, to your dinner table, with coworkers, or out with friends and loved ones. Practicing mindfulness is about acknowledging that you have the power to choose your thoughts and that you can make conscious choices with each thought and decision you have throughout the day.
Take a moment to breathe.
Using the power of our breath is one of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness at any point in our day. Focus on your breath, your inhale and exhale. Consciously breathe in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts. Repeat 10 times or as long as feels right for you.
Move your body.
Whether this looks like a walk around your neighbourhood, a dip in the ocean, playing a sport or hitting that yoga class, moving your body is a great way to stay mindful. Movement is like meditation, it gets you out of your head, back into your physical body and your heart.
Notice your thoughts.
Whether they are positive or negative, simply notice the thoughts that you are choosing in any given moment. Awareness is the first step to making a change to our habitual thought patterns. The best part is, we have the power to choose our thoughts so the lift us up, not tear us down.
Adopt this mindset.
Everything is happening FOR YOU not TO YOU.
Everything, the good and the bad, are lessons, opportunities and always happening for us. Adopting this mindset allows us to embrace what comes our way, let go of that feeling of being the victim and look for the good in any situation.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.