By

Katy Blevins

| 06/30/2016

Practicing Mindfulness with Denyse Peterson

Practicing Mindfulness with Denyse Peterson

Mindfulness… be mindful… practice mindfulness. This buzzword is popping up all over the place, supercharging a compelling dialogue that is challenging the frenzied, burnt out state that continues to imprison people across all cultures, races, industries and backgrounds. 

But what is mindfulness? 

Why do you need it? 

How do you practice it? 

Without a clear understanding of why mindfulness enhances our ability to thrive and how we can take steps to welcome mindfulness into our daily lives, this dialogue can cultivate frustration and be nothing more than useless lip service. Let’s take a deeper look at mindfulness and start drawing together a few ideas for how you can embrace a more present you in today’s busy world.

Mindfulness is defined as “A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”

Let’s focus on a few keywords here.

Awareness. “Well-informed interest.”

Calmly. “With tranquility.”

Acknowledging. “Accepting or admitting the truth or existence of.”

The foundation of mindfulness rests on finding peace and purpose in the reality, or present moment. Fully embracing mindfulness sets the stage for becoming your best self, which naturally extends to success both in and outside of the workplace. Why is this? Well-grounded, happy employees who are tuned into their intrinsic needs and personal realities are better equipped to cultivate meaningful and productive relationships with others, ultimately serving both the employee and employer in an effective manner where everyone wins.

Embracing mindfulness opens a channel of consciousness to your feelings and natural environment, fostering a more intentional and attentive awareness to the impact that you have on others and on yourself. Deliberately resting in the present moment, refraining from dwelling on the past or getting misdirected in plans for the future, you are better equipped to navigate life TODAY.

How can we use the principles of mindfulness to encounter success in our professional and personal lives? Here are seven ways that practicing mindfulness can cultivate positive change in your life:

1. IMPROVED FOCUS

When we are constantly distracted by outside influences, stuck dwelling on our past or trying to rush our future, it becomes exceptionally difficult to focus on the task at hand. Our performance in the workplace will suffer and our personal relationships lack the genuine connections that equip us with the support, love and human interest we need to thrive. When we practice mindfulness, we deliberately set our intention on the present, finding peace and wholeness in our current surroundings, so that we are able to focus on our immediate needs and the requests of others, properly engaging life in real time.

2. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective communication is an extension of improved focus. We can only relate and carry an effective dialogue with others when we are fully present and actively listening to what others have to say. Likewise, mindfulness allows us to communicate to others clearly, because we are better able to identify and share our feelings, while also finding empathy and clarity when it comes to respecting the feelings of others. Communication skills are pivotal to both professional and personal success, and practicing mindfulness lays the foundation for transparent relationships where both parties thrive. When we focus on what is happening now, we refrain from thinking ahead to what we will say next and devote our energy to actively listening to what others have to say.

3. EMOTIONAL MATURITY

Mindfulness encourages the identification and acceptance of your emotions, both good and bad. When you are aware of your feelings, you are able to identify how they impact others in your environment, which gives you the tools to process your emotions in a healthy way. Asking yourself “Why am I feeling this way?” or “How can I change the way this makes me feel?” allows you to acknowledge your environment and take active steps to change your daily routine. When you find peace in the present, you are one step closer to creating a positive environment and the people in your professional and personal lives will benefit from your ability to navigate your emotions with maturity, respect and…mindfulness!

4. INCREASED ENERGY LEVELS

Anxiety, stress and worry sap our energy levels, affecting our productivity and ability to positively engage others. When we practice mindfulness, we give ourselves permission to release anxiety and stress, reducing depression and other symptoms that can challenge our ability to perform both in the workplace and at home. When we remove the emotional turmoil and stressors that chip away at our happiness and ability to focus, we are rejuvenated and refreshed with the clarity and peace that is in the “now,” injecting us with energy and momentum.

5. ENHANCED DECISION-MAKING

With better focus and reduced stress and anxiety, we are better equipped to make positive decisions in our professional and home environments. Properly navigating our emotions and circumstances by practicing mindfulness opens the door to the tools and resources required to make informed decisions that benefit ourselves and others. This type of clarity naturally empowers us to make choices that build our success and the success of others instead of tearing anyone down.

6. EFFICIENT FULFILLED LIVING

When mindfulness fuels our ability to make better decisions in the short term, we learn to prioritize the positive influences that allow us to excel both now and in the future. When you are more aware of your feelings, your actions and your interaction with your environment you are better able to recognize and eliminate the negative influences, further focusing your attention on those relationships that add value to your life or help you to achieve your personal and professional goals. This is perhaps the most important benefit to mindfulness. All of the aforementioned positive impacts combine to craft a meaningful life that is rich with personal and professional affluence.

BREATHING AND VISUALIZATION TECHNIQUES

How do you take the first steps towards active mindfulness? There are breathing and visualization techniques that will help enhance your ability to process your emotions and environment, keeping you balanced and focused in the present.

1. How to practice mindful breathing:

Sit upright in a comfortable chair.

Place both feet firmly on the ground with your hands in your lap.

Close your eyes.

Quiet your mind and focus on the act of breathing.

Inhale and exhale, deeply and slowly, focusing on what you feel.

Practice daily to relax muscles, quiet the mind and improve sleeping.

2. How to practice mindful visualization:

Dedicate time to focus on positive thoughts about your life.

Meditate on a peaceful environment, transporting yourself there to rejuvenate, rest and reflect.

Repeat positive affirmations declaring your success in overcoming an obstacle or achieving personal and professional goals.

Daydream! Allow your mind to wander freely and aimlessly, with peace and creativity, just because.

How do you practice mindfulness in your life? Share your strategies and techniques in the comments below, as we all work together to embrace a more present life that is at peace and positively staged for personal and professional success.

About Denyse Peterson

Denyse is one of the first in the nation to receive a Master of Science degree in Yoga Therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health. She is an experienced yoga teacher, registered with Yoga Alliance(ERYT-500) and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Learn more about her and our other wonderful service providers through the Wellness Hub Directory!

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