Mindfulness Simply Means Being Aware … Being Present
Mindfulness is the watchful attention to what is happening inside and outside so you can respond from a position of wisdom.
Using mindfulness, you can realize that your emotions are signals that can give you vital information about what is important to you.
The next time you face a situation that evokes an intense emotion in you—sorrow, fear, embarrassment, or anger,—take a step back and contemplate what your emotions are telling you. Explore the narrative behind those emotions.
Take an Active Interest in Discovering the Very Nature of Emotion
Suppose that you’re upset at an employee’s poor results; you’re dreading the prospect of confronting her and giving her some corrective feedback. By reflecting on your emotions, you may realize that you’re troubled about being fair to her and her coworkers because, even though she’s had poor results, she is a good employee and she tried her best, but she hurt your group’s performance. Confronting your employee may invoke a defensive reaction in her.
Now, consider your options. By either having or avoiding a confronting conversation with her, you can move toward or away from being fair.
Investigating your situation and the resulting emotions in this light can help you see that giving her the feedback and helping her change is actually fairer to her than yielding to your anxieties.
Observing your emotions more deeply entails looking only not at the story behind the emotion, but also at how the emotion manifests in your body and your mind.
Idea for Impact: Mindfulness Can Help Prevent Getting Caught on the Rollercoaster of Your Ever-changing Moods
Mindfulness can help you uncouple yourself from your immediate emotions and make a wise choice that is true to your values.
- Mindfulness allows you to realize that you are much more than the anxious, worried, or resentful thoughts that can overwhelm you.
- Mindfulness allows you to watch your thoughts, and see how one thought leads to the next. You can decide if you’re headed in a unwholesome path, and if so, make a wiser choice.
- Mindfulness suggests the possibility of finding the chasms between a trigger event and your natural conditioned response to it, and using that pause to collect yourself and favor a wiser response.