Life Coaching, More Productivity with Less Stress-Mind
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Mindfulness has been defined as: "paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally."     Jon Kabat-Zinn (founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction clinic)   


I  have had the honor of being a participant of Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness-based stress reductioncourse.  The Life coaching which I do embodies this. Being mindful is the opposite of being mindless. Many of our actions are automatic and we are not conscious of our thinking. Introducing mindfulness practices into ones life helps us to live in the present moment and to be less judgmental and critical of ourselves and others.


Jon Kabat-Zinn has written a number of books. The one most love is called "Wherever You Go, There You Are" Wherever You Go, There You Are-


A client of mine once said to me that he does not feel challenged intellectually, he is bored. "I’ve been in my job for ten years and would like to explore a possibility of change, perhaps a new career or at least a new place of work. I don’t know what yet."    



Another client, a business consultant came to me for wellbeing coaching. He felt he was stressed out most of the time and he thought it was because he worked too hard. When I was coaching him we looked at his different tasks and I started to explore with him his thoughts through the different tasks.


I took a task that he did daily, his daily review of his work and asked him to write down everything that came to mind. What we saw from his externalization of his thoughts that he kept saying - "this I have not completed" and "I haven't yet even started this …". In other words when we focused on a particular part of his job we saw how he thought. His thinking was causing his stress not the work itself which he loved.


We started to work on changing his thinking, first by creating awareness of what he was thinking. He chose to say for that which was not completed, "I did the best I can here." This was so true. I asked him. Could you have done more? And his reply was No. Instead of scolding and criticizing himself he began to coach himself and encourage himself. In the second phase of the coaching he was able to introduce gratitude for what he had achieved on a daily basis and to congratulate himself for this.  


We used everyday work situations from his life to practice awareness of his thinking, all the time writing it down and externalizing his thoughts, questioning whether they were true and with time he could turn the sentences in his mind around. He reported to me that in addition to him feeling calmer as regards his work, he also was becoming more productive, had more energy and was much more relaxed at home with the kids.


During the life coaching we worked on awareness of his thinking using physical exercises to notice this.  




Exercise - Where is your mind? An Informal Mindfulness Practice. 


Select something that you do everyday like brushing your teeth or having a shower. I ask you to practice being present for this exercise and will explain what I mean. Let's take you taking a shower for instance.


Feel the water as it comes down on you, notice your body, your hands how they move in the shower, where your face is. How do you feel? Notice if you have thoughts at the moment? Where is your mind? This means to notice if your mind wanders into the future about planning or is dwelling on something from the past, just notice and gently bring yourself back to the present by feeling the water on you and different aspects of it, by noticing your hands and how you lather yourself with the soap and enjoy.










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