How MINDFUL are you? Are you focused or are you oblivious?
Yes, I admit that MINDFULNESS is a buzzword these days. But being mindful, being intentional, can elevate our communication effectiveness and even our life satisfaction.
Mindfulness & meditation coach,
Swiss renaissance woman, Anne V. Muhlethaler
For this episode, I interviewed ANNE V. MUHLETHALER, a true Swiss renaissance woman who’s become a friend. Anne is a mindfulness & meditation teacher, a yoga instructor, a fashion and luxury brand consultant, and she worked for Christian Louboutin (yes, that Christian Louboutin), heading up his communications!
Anne’s also a podcaster and a singer. She has a lovely voice, as you’ll hear in this episode. Read on to learn Anne’s insights on:
- what is mindfulness?
- how to be mindful
- 3 strategies to be mindful in specific contexts
Let’s do this…
MINDFUL … WHAT’S THAT?
MINDFULNESS is maintaining a form of awareness, moment-by-moment, of our thoughts, our feelings, our physical sensations, and the surrounding environment. Mindfulness differs from general awareness in that it also incorporates kindness.
Let’s back up. What are the benefits of mindfulness? According to Anne, mindfulness can:
- help us manage stress and reduce anxiety
- improve our sleep quality
- reduce the onset of disease and chronic pain
- improve our communication. Mindfulness can help us pause and to be less reactive. When we pause, we are better communicators.
Now are you convinced?
I’m quite certain this podcast episode will help you be more mindful. You’ll learn about the four pillars of MINDFULNESS:
- Mindfulness of breath – Focus on elongating the out-breath
- Mindfulness of body – Our body is our gateway for experiencing life. Consider your “body suit” that you use to navigate this world…
- Mindfulness of thoughts and emotions – Acknowledge the inner critic and move on.
- Mindfulness of the constructs of the mind – Seek kindness.
HOW TO BE MINDFUL
Generally, mindfulness practices can be formal (seated, standing or lying down) or informal (consciously focusing on our intention in everyday activities). 3 ways to be mindful:
- Take a time out. Be less reactive.
- As Dr. Nadine Kelly suggested in episode 72, pause and make space between trigger and response.
2️⃣ Focus on intention.
- Ask yourself, “what is my purpose here?”
3️⃣ Acknowledge your inner critic.
- Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Try not to be judgmental.
- Rather than silencing your inner critic, recognize it. What’s it pointing out to you? Is it fake news? Is it helpful?
- Say to yourself: I hear you, thank you for pointing this out to me, and then move on.
3 STRATEGIES FOR BEING MINDFUL IN SPECIFIC CONTEXTS
1️⃣ Undivided Attention
- When you’re in a meeting and your mind’s wandering, give your whole attention to the person who’s speaking.
- Cultivate a state of presence, physically and mentally, without judging, without commentary.
image: Unsplash @ rvignes
2️⃣ The “2-Feet, 1-Breath” Framework
- When you’ve lost focus, think “2 feet 1 breath.” Sit or stand straight, uncross your arms and feet. Feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Then focus on one foot. Then the other. Then your breath. Then you’ll feel grounded. (I tried this during the podcast interview, and it works!)
image: Unsplash @ _nicksgraphics_
3️⃣ S.T.O.P. When You Feel Out of Control
- S – Stop and put things down for a minute.
- T – Take a few deep breaths. The goal is to make the out-breath slower.
- O – Observe. Inquire. What thoughts are going through your mind?
- P – Proceed. Get back to the person in front of you.
INSPIRED TO PRACTICE?
That’s the third of three episodes for this mini-series on PRACTICING our communication skills:
- #72 – Practicing Communication Skills: WHAT IS PRACTICE? with Nadine Kelly
- #73 – Practicing Communication Skills WITH TECHNOLOGY with Robson Beaudry
- #74 – Practicing Communication Skills: BEING MINDFUL with Anne Muhlethaler
Thanks again to our 3 fantastic guests, Dr. Nadine Kelly, Robson Beaudry and Anne Muhlethaler. These interviews were a true privilege for me, and based on comments from listeners, this mini-series exceeded my expectations.
Please forward this email to anyone who might appreciate insights on practicing their communication skills. Thank you!
Have a great week.
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
Most Recent 🎧Podcast Episodes:
#73 – Practicing Communication Skills WITH TECHNOLOGY with Robson Beaudry
#72 – Practicing Communication Skills: WHAT IS PRACTICE? with Nadine Kelly
#71 – PERSONAL BRANDING, AUTHENTICITY & TMI with Tom Megginson
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