Have you heard of the word Mindfulness and thought, this doesn’t apply to me because it seems philosophical or yeah, I’m mindful and then gave no further thought to it? I am here to clue you in; it is not just for philosophical people, looking to expand their horizons. It is for you and me, for her, for him, for them… for everyone!
Let’s take a moment and become mindful.
First by reviewing the definition of Mindfullness:
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. 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, used as a therapeutic technique.
The first definition is seemingly simply focused on being aware, while the second explains it more in depth. It is up to you how you interpret or proceed with your mindfulness. It is personal and completely your life to become aware of. I will say the more mindful you are of your thoughts and feelings, the more you are likely to be fully present in the moment. Thus, the less likely you are to overact or become overwhelmed in life.
Let’s dig a little deeper and discover the benefits, shall we? The key benefits as follows:
1. More Productive- Becoming mindful helps you focus and concentrate. It helps you be in the now and spend time on things that matter in the present moment. You become in control of your scattered thoughts and don’t let distractions run you in multiple directions. This allows you to complete task efficiently, plan effectively and become more productive.
2. Less Stress – Typically stress is imaging scenarios that are never going to happen, that you think may happen in the future. By being present, you learn how to redirect those thoughts and focus on the here and now. The present is all we have and is all we are guaranteed. Focus on it and reduce your stress levels.
3. More Confidence – Confidence comes from within. Once you become more mindful you start looking within. When you look within you start to understand where your lack of confidence began and understand your thoughts and feelings. You start trusting what you really need, and negative self-talk starts to diminish because you are now aware of it. You can start redirecting your negative self-talk to positive, thus resulting in more self-confidence.
4. Healthier Self – You are now paying more attention to the present moment. You are now noticing what’s in your mind and how it is effecting your body. You are now aware of the thoughts you have about food or why you’re not being active. You begin being aware of what you are eating, when and why you are eating. You now make time to exercise because you are aware of how you were spending your time previously.
5. Happier – Being mindful centers you so you are more adaptable to deal with reality. You are not consumed by worry or what-if scenarios, or disctracted by what the moment could become or what you want the moment to be. You understand you can’t control the moment, but that you control how you react to it. You are in charge of your feelings.
By now I bet your asking yourself, well am I mindful or how do I become more mindful. Great thoughts, because that means you are practicing mindfulness! Mindfulness is an innate characteristic each of us has. There are things we can do to foster it deeper within us. Such activities could include meditation, yoga, exercising, sports, reading, writing, painting etc. It is something to keep you in the moment reflecting only on yourself and your thoughts and feelings. Listen to your thoughts, don’t judge yourself. Just accept them as they come and be conscious of each thought that you have. Each of these activities gives you time to focus just on you, helping you become more self-aware and in control of your life.
P.S. You did great at mindfulness today just by reading this blog! It gave you the opportunity to explore the definition, become self-aware and reflect on ways you’ve been mindful or how you can become more mindful. I challenge you to give yourself at least 15 minutes a day to do an activity that helps you to be fully present in the moment to help you stay mindful.
Written by Breanna Peters, a creative soul helping humans become mindful, serving on the board for LEAP while encouraging love and equality. Please visit her and her husband’s website below and make a purchase to help spread awareness, love and equality: https://awearnessbystarseed.com/
As we grow professionally, it is beneficial to pursue both informal and formal mentor/mentee relationships, The world is changing rapidly, and how we grow, respond, evolve, succeed and thrive will continue to change. Having trusting relationships with others in order to discuss key issues, exchange ideas, challenge thought processes and just be ourselves is critical to forward momentum in our careers and the success of the organizations where we work and lead.
Ask 10 different people what the definition of a mentor is, and you will likely get 10 different answers. However, positive mentoring relationships all have one common component: a trusting relationship between the mentor and the mentee.
Unfortunately, mentoring is becoming more challenging in today’s world. A recent survey done by the Business Record (3.29.2019) indicated 81% of the respondents believe men are less likely to mentor a woman since #MeToo. While I fully support the increased awareness and transparency that is happening due to #MeToo and other similar movements, we have to be vigilant that opportunities for mentoring relationships do not diminish because of concerns raised about trust.
Not only can men and women collaborate to create workplace environments where we have equality in all aspects, we can also work to ensure we have mentoring relationships that foster the development of all employees, both men and women.
So what steps can we take to ensure mentoring relationships are positive experiences in today’s world? Consider these simple tips to increase the professionalism (and trustworthiness) of any current or future mentoring relationship.
1. Always have a recommendation from someone you trust before meeting with a potential mentor. Ask that person to perform a virtual introduction between you and the potential mentor, whether it is for one meeting or an ongoing relationship.
2. When you connect, plan to meet in public or in an office or conference room with a window or glass door.
3. Personal contact such as hugs, a hand on the arm, or other seemingly casual gestures should be rare. Everyone has a different opinion on this, but if in doubt, don’t do it. If this naturally evolves over time, it would be with the trusting agreement of both parties.
4. If you are uncomfortable meeting one on one, consider setting up a mentoring small group, allowing one or more mentors to work with one or more mentees on a variety of topics.
Mentoring can and should continue to be a part of one’s professional development plan. It is up to all of us to ensure those opportunities continue to exist for men and women alike. We truly are better together.
Ashley Hunt specializes in public affairs, social and digital media, and event management. Ashley also serves on several community and local boards and commissions. She serves on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and is a board member for 50-50 in 2020, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, issue-neutral organization dedicated to achieving political equity for women in Iowa. Additionally, she currently serves on the Downtown Des Moines Chamber of Commerce’s LEAP Series Advisory Council.