As a certified coach, you realize the importance of mindfulness. It is an essential attribute of our personal and professional relationships, peace of mind, ability to be present for those in our lives that matter most, and overall well-being.
Mindfulness and its practices have gained a lot of attention in recent years, as more people recognize the quickly realized benefits it can bring to our mental and physical well-being. It is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the moment, without judgment or distraction. It allows us to focus on the present moment and be more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.
What are 4 Main Aspects of Mindfulness?
- Being present: Mindfulness requires us to be fully present in the moment, without being distracted by our thoughts, worries, or external stimuli. We need to be aware of what is happening around us and within us, without judgment. You can learn more about being present by studying active listening skills. It’s more than just being present. It’s about being attentive, empathetic, responsive, and helpful.
- Non-judgmental awareness: We need to cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. This means accepting our experiences without labeling them as good or bad, right, or wrong. ASK, “IS THIS USEFUL?”
We all know we should not be judge mental. Yet, this can be a challenge at times. We all have preferences and biases. We should always do our best to keep an open mind. Yet, we know it’s not always easy. This is part of being human. One of the best, and yet most simple ways to mitigate this is to periodically ask yourself if there are any signs of judgment during a conversation. If there is, do your best to mitigate it and learn how you can continue the conversation and engagement without judgment.
- Self-awareness: Mindfulness involves developing a deep understanding of ourselves, our thoughts, and our emotions. This helps us to become more self-aware and better able to manage our emotions and responses to different situations. Self-awareness is like starting a computer and let it gather information. Then, periodically you assess if you are being self-aware. When you get closer to mastering self-awareness, you will find yourself being aware that you are being self-aware. So, there are actually levels to it.
- Compassion: Mindfulness also involves cultivating a sense of compassion for us and others. This means being kind, understanding, and empathetic towards us and those around us. Pause for a moment and think about it. The people you probably enjoy most show compassion. In general, people who love animals are more compassionate. People who have been best to you throughout your life I have shown you compassion. It starts with being understanding. Yet, understanding comes from being present and being a good active listener. So, you can see how it’s all connected.
Here is some detailed additional information on mindfulness training that coaches will want to know.
Here are the Top Practices that Can Improve Mindfulness:
- Meditation: Meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on a particular object or sensation, such as your breath or a mantra. By doing so, you can train your mind to become more present and less distracted. Take a moment to read this additional detailed article on meditation practices and benefits.
- Yoga: Yoga is a physical practice that combines movement with breath and meditation. It can help you to become more aware of your body and your breath, and to develop a deeper sense of mindfulness. As a coach, you can also get certified to teach yoga through our sister organization, NESTA. This gives you more skills and additional sources of income as you help your clients improve their lives.
- Mindful breathing: Mindful breathing involves focusing your attention on your breath and observing each inhale and exhale without judgment. This can help to calm your mind and reduce stress. Mindful breathing is taught through guided imagery, yoga practice, tai chi, martial arts, dance, and other personal development protocols.
- Mindful eating: Mindful eating involves paying close attention to the experience of eating, including the taste, texture, and smell of the food. This can help you to become more aware of your hunger and fullness cues, and to make healthier food choices. As an example of the benefits of mindful eating, just being grateful for your food and showing or saying thanks actually put your body in a state where the food is more easily digested and you receive more of the nutrients from the food.
- Mindful walking: This involves walking slowly and deliberately, and paying close attention to your body and your surroundings. This can help you to become more grounded and present in the moment. Mindful walking is essentially moving meditation. Some people do this on a quiet path. Others may use a labyrinth. In some cases, people can’t even practice and make this effective on the treadmill.
- Journaling: This is a practice that involves writing down your thoughts and feelings. This can help you to become more self-aware and to process your emotions in a healthy way. Writing in pen or pencil has been shown to be even more therapeutic and beneficial than using a computer. It’s because of the kinesthetic/tactile action of the writing. It helps code things in additional areas of the brain because of the action. Also, because you have to move more slowly than when using a computer, do you have time to be more delivered and thoughtful with what you write. In general, this yields a better result.
- Gratitude practice: This practice involves reflecting on the things you are thankful for in your life. This can help to cultivate a sense of appreciation and contentment, and to focus on the positive aspects of your life. In short, every time you have any experience, you can just pause. Give yourself a moment to find out what was helpful about the experience you just had. The same can be true for an experience that is pending. If you’re grateful in advance, it is more likely you will have a better result.
Mindfulness can have many benefits for our mental and physical well-being. Research has shown that it can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, improve sleep quality, and enhance cognitive function. It can also improve our relationships by helping us to become more present and empathetic towards others.
Coaches need to remember mindfulness is a powerful practice that can help their clients to become more present, self-aware, and compassionate. By cultivating mindfulness through practices such as meditation, biofeedback, yoga, and mindful breathing, we can improve our mental and physical well-being and lead a more fulfilling life.
Many of our coaching certification courses discuss this in detail. You will find in-depth training within the Life Strategies Coaching Certification, Mind Body Fitness Coach Certification, Results Coach Certification, and the Integrative Health Coach Certification as prime examples.