How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Wellbeing in Challenging Times - International Coaching Federation

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How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Wellbeing in Challenging Times

Posted by Kate Greenslade, ACC | April 22, 2021 | Comments (1)

During these unprecedented times, you can be forgiven for feeling anxious and overwhelmed. In such circumstances its very difficult to be fully present for yourself, let alone with your clients. But with a few simple mindfulness practices, its possible.  

When were stuck in our heads,” fully identifying with every negative and damaging thought, our emotions are also negatively affected. We get trapped in a spiral or loop of suffering. To break this pattern, we need to create some space between ourselves and our thoughts. This space offers us the chance to becompresent – fully aware of our mental and physical selves. 

Neuroscience has shown us that our wellbeing is improved by the integration of mind and body and this process begins with presence. Your body is continually communicating with your brain, giving you signals of how its doing. If youre having stressful thoughts, you may also notice a tightening in your chest or a sense of irritability. When we become more used to noticing these physical cues, we can act on them and give our bodies what they need. 

Mindfulness offers practical techniques to help us be more in touch with these signals, to be more present for ourselves. To remind ourselves to return to the here and now when we begin to stress about the future or get depressed about the past.  

We all have different perceptions and tolerances of stress, but by using simple, powerful tools you can start build up resilience against overwhelm. Having daily practices that you become familiar with means that when you experience a challenge you can automatically reach for this practice and quickly return to a state of calm and balance.  

Practice Now

A grounded body scan (3 minutes)  

When youre lost in thought, this practice will help you break that overthinking loop. Your body exists purely in the present moment, unlike your mind that is capable of doing a lot of harmful time-traveling to the past (depression) and the future (anxiety). So, you can use your body as an anchor to bring yourself back to the “here and now” rather than being lost in your head.  

By connecting to our physical sensations, we become present againaware of ourselves and able to pause and reset. This allows us precious time to return to a more balanced state from where we can deal with whatever is happening.  

To try it, follow these steps:

Begin by standing up (without shoes if possible). 

Notice your feet on the ground. 

How familiar are you with these sensations?  

How often do you notice your feet when they dont hurt, for example?  

Feel the support of the ground, slowly rising up through your ankles. 

Make your way slowly up through your body to the top of your head. 

Paying close attention to the sensations in your body as you go. 

Where might you use this technique in your day 

  • Before your coaching calls  
  • When youre waiting for the kettle to boil
  • After each meal
  • When you get up and before you go to bed 

When you integrate this structured approach into your day, youre teaching your mind how to break overwhelming thoughts and emotions. It will become more familiar to you the more you practice, and youll be able to reach for it in moments of stress to soften your experience. 

Gaining a new perspective and refreshing our thoughts is such an effective antidote to overwhelm. But first we need to be present with ourselves.  

Remember, overwhelm happens in our mind when we overidentify with thoughts and become stressed, anxious etc. Body awareness is one of the pillars of mindfulness and connecting to it is the fastest route out of overwhelm and back to the present moment. Come out of your head and into your body, feel present with yourself and therefore your clients. And its from this place that we want to have our coaching conversations. 

This is one of hundreds of mindfulness tools that you can explore to improve your wellbeing. For more information visit Kate Greenslade at onlinemindfulnesscoach.com 

Photo of Coaching World contributor Kate Greenslade, ACC.

Kate Greenslade, ACC

Kate Greenslade, ACC is a certified mindfulness coach who works with individuals and corporate clients to help them improve their mental well-being. She uses a unique blend of mindfulness tools, transformational coaching methods, neuroscience and philosophy in her work to guide and support people to lasting positive change and inner contentment. More mindfulness tools can be found at onlinemindfulnesscoach.com

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (1)

  1. elhammazaheri91@gmail.com says:

    Thank you dear Kate.

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