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How to Make Mindfulness Your Superpower

& completely change the way you think, work and live


Mindfulness truly is such a powerful tool for growth. I can guarantee that learning this simple technique will change your life for the better! It’s changed mine, and the lives of hundreds of people I’ve worked with.

This blog explores the concept of mindfulness, how it can benefit both you and your workplace, and how to cultivate it as your ultimate wellbeing superpower. Let's dive in...

How to make mindfulness your superpower

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

The term mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation, and can be defined as the moment-to-moment awareness of our experience without judgment.

This definition touches on the three core concepts of mindfulness: noticing the present moment, building awareness, and practicing detachment.

There are several practices that can cultivate mindfulness, including yoga, tai chi and qigong. It has a huge evidence base, and most of the scientific literature has focused on mindfulness that is developed through mindfulness meditation – a self-regulation practice based on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control. This means that once we become skilled in mindfulness, we can choose where we place our attention and therefore focus on the task in front of us. A pretty neat skill in an age where there is so much competition for our attention!


THE MANY BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is an incredibly powerful tool for growth and change. It improves our health, our relationships, and our cognitive (or thinking) abilities.


Mental and Physical Benefits of Mindfulness
MINDFULNESS IMPROVES MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH

Mindfulness has many benefits for improving both mental and physical health. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. It’s also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, and help people cope with pain. Mindfulness also helps us make healthier choices, create better habits and achieve our goals.


Relationship Benefits of Mindfulness
MINDFULNESS CAN HELP TRANSFORM OUR RELATIONSHIPS

Firstly (and in many ways, most importantly) mindfulness helps improve our relationship with ourselves. It has been shown to increase self-compassion and body satisfaction. Mindfulness also increases empathy and compassion for others, and is associated with increased relationship satisfaction. Regular practice of mindfulness has also been shown to improve emotion regulation, helping us to become less reactive and better able to handle challenges.


Cognitive Benefits of Mindfulness
MINDFULNESS CAN HELP US THINK MORE CLEARLY AND FLEXIBLY

Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts. without judging them or getting caught up in them. Practicing mindfulness improves concentration and helps us solve problems more efficiently. Incredibly, mindfulness meditation changes the structure and function of the brain, and has been shown to preserve the brain’s grey matter. This improves cognitive abilities like learning, memory and attention



MINDFULNESS CAN CREATE BETTER WORKPLACES

Mindfulness also has a big impact in the workplace. One of the major benefits is its positive effect on employee wellbeing and impact on stress reduction. Research has demonstrated a clear link between mindfulness, and improved workplace relationships and enhanced engagement. It’s also associated with improved performance, creativity and problem solving. There are also additional benefits around work-life balance and burnout prevention - as employees become more self-aware and mindful of their needs, they become more conscious about how they spend their time and energy.



A SIMPLE MINDFULNESS PRACTICE TO BEGIN EXPLORING

Follow the video or written prompts below to begin exploring daily mindfulness. Start with a few minutes each day, and build from there.


YOUR MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
  1. Find a comfortable position and sit upright with your back straight.

  2. Rest your feet on the floor and hands in your lap.

  3. Begin to settle the mind and body by taking some long, slow breaths through your nose.

  4. Focus on the breath moving in and out of your body.

  5. Become aware of the different sensations involved in breathing – the feeling of air entering the nostrils, your stomach moving in and out, the rhythm of your heartbeat.

  6. Pay attention to each in-breath, and each out-breath.

  7. If your mind wanders away, just notice, without judging yourself. This is completely normal.

  8. Gently guide your attention back to your breath each time this happens.


THE HABIT OF MINDFULNESS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Ok, so that’s a bold claim. But I stand by it! Maybe the best way to put it is that mindfulness will change the way you experience life. To me, mindfulness is like pulling back the curtains and seeing things the way they really are. It expands our perspective and shifts our mindset, while reducing stress and helping us feel more connected.


There are all sorts of guidelines about how often and how much mindfulness we should be practicing to experience the full range of benefits. While I love mindfulness and all of its amazing pros, I can’t say I stick to a daily regime of 20 minutes a day! I have however found my own way of inviting mindfulness into my day through taking regular mini-breaks or ‘mindful moments’. I’ve trained myself to tune in and pay attention to my inner world throughout the day, to become aware of my breathing, and to connect with the here and now. I’ve learned to detach from my thoughts and experiences, and instead watch them from a distance.


This practice has brought me relief in the really challenging times, and also added a beauty and appreciation of the ordinary moments in life. Learning this skill has been profound, and helped me become a better person, parent and partner.


In my work I’m lucky enough to teach my clients to do the same. For my clients recovering from burnout, mindfulness is one of the tools that makes the biggest impact. It helps them become more self-aware and trains them to notice when they are engaging in old habit patterns, like taking on too much when they are low on energy, or ignoring basic needs like rest and relaxation. Another relevant teaching of mindfulness is about the temporary nature of our experiences. We come to understand that all moments are temporary, and we learn to witness them all, without attachment.


Did you know?

At Total Life, our Workplace Wellbeing Programs are delivered by qualified and experienced therapists. Get in touch to find out how we can support you in building a more productive and motivated team.


Take care,

Alexis







References

Allen, T. D., & Kiburz, K. M. (2012). Trait mindfulness and work–family balance among working parents: The mediating effects of vitality and sleep quality. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 372–379. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2011.09.002


Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822–848. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822


Loucks, E. B., Schuman‐Olivier, Z., Britton, W. B., Fresco, D. M., Desbordes, G., Brewer, J. A., & Fulwiler, C. E. (2015). Mindfulness and cardiovascular disease risk: state of the evidence, plausible mechanisms, and theoretical framework. Current Cardiology Reports, 17(12). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-015-0668-7


Tang, R., Friston, K. J., & Tang, Y. (2020). Brief mindfulness meditation induces gray matter changes in a brain hub. Neural Plasticity, 2020, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/8830005

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Image by Jeremy Bishop
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BLOG AUTHOR

Alexis Postans

WELLBEING CONSULTANT

Alexis Postans is a highly experienced therapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and the founder of Total Life Wellbeing. 

 

She is currently undertaking her third degree in Psychology and has worked in a variety of settings including mental health policy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, youth residential care, child protection, youth justice, adventure therapy and delivering wellbeing programs in schools.

 

Alexis is a skilled and experienced group facilitator and is passionate about improving the wellbeing of individuals, workplaces and society.

 

Aside from study and business, she can be found playing with her two young kids or enjoying a glorious WA sunset over the beach!

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