LEARN THE MINDFULNESS SKILL OF ENGAGEMENT
To be fully present in your life and get the most out of it, you need to be: aware, attentive and fully engaged in what is happening.
There is a simple mindfulness skill, I regularly use with my clients called “engagement.”
You connect with whatever you are doing at the moment by focusing on what you see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
Most of us are regularly hooked by our thoughts and so we are not connecting and engaging with the world.
We aren’t appreciating the present moment.
If you can learn to be more engaged in the here and now, then you can unhook from your looping thoughts.
THE POWER OF ENGAGEMENT
If you want to have a great conversation, a great game of tennis, write, speak or sing well, then you need to be mentally and physically present.
Fully engaged in whatever you are doing or what is happening right here right now.
Suppose you are playing softball and instead of keeping your eye on the ball, you are focusing on your thoughts…
“What did my coach tell me to do?”
“Wow that ball is coming fast?”
“She always strikes me out!”
If you are focusing on your thoughts instead of the ball what quality of game are you likely to play?
Probably not so good.
GET RID OF SOCIAL ANXIETY
Have you ever been in a social situation where you felt worried about what other people think of you and so you closed down and clammed up?
I bet instead of paying attention to the person you are talking to, you got caught up in thoughts like…
“I’m so boring.”
“I hope this person likes me.”
“I’ve got nothing interesting to say.”
Because you are so entangled in your thoughts, you probably found it hard to contribute to the conversation and didn’t get much enjoyment out of it.
If you want to socialize well, pay close attention to what the other person is saying, their facial expressions and body language. This will help you connect and engage with them.
When you think someone looks confident, you have no idea what they are actually thinking or feeling.
You are just observing what they are doing and how they are behaving.
Confident people fully engage in whatever they are doing…
When they are socializing they’re fully absorbed in the conversation.
When they are playing a sport, they are all in.
Having insecure thoughts is not the problem…
The problem is when you are lost in your thoughts and disengaging from what’s going on around you.
When you keep your attention on what you are doing, then it does not matter what your mind is saying.
Our thoughts create problems only if it hooks us.
You can let your thoughts just come and go.
ACTIONS COME FIRST
Taking ACTION first builds confidence and then the FEELINGS of confidence come later.
Only when you DO something well are you likely to FEEL confident.
It’s impossible to do something well if you are not fully engaged in what you are doing.
HOW TO BE MINDFUL
How do you fully engage in your experience?
Simple. You pay attention!
You notice what is happening right here – right now.
Paying attention: Paying attention to what’s happening in the moment. Noticing what you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
Openness: Being open to what’s happening even if you don’t like or approve of it.
Curiosity: Actively trying to discover something new in your experience; something you may have missed or taken for granted.
Flexibility: Narrowing your focus if you are hitting a ball or threading a needle or broadening your focus if you are exploring a new place.
MINDFULNESS BREATHING EXERCISE
- Find a comfortable position
- Close your eyes
- Take slow deep breaths
- Focus on emptying your lungs and you will automatically take a deep breath in.
- After 10 breaths, allow your breathing to find its natural rhythm.
- Your challenge is to keep your focus on your breath.
- Let your thoughts float by like leaves on a stream.
- Every time you realize you have been hooked by a thought, just refocus to your breath.
- If feelings come up just name them. “Here’s boredom.” “Here’s frustration.”
- Once your time is up, keep a spotlight in your breath and notice what you see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
BREATHING IS JUST THE START
Mindful breathing can quickly get you into calm state.
If you are looking for help to learn how to fully engage in everything you do in your life, I’d love to help!
Click on the graphic below to set up a complimentary clarity session to figure out how to become fully engaged in your life!