To be successful today, you need to be a great communicator. How you present yourself and how you interact with others around you will determine your success and fortune. Today’s world is busy, with many responsibilities and obligations pulling you in different directions. As a result of this, it’s easy to feel burnt out. If you’re feeling burnt out, this can affect how well you communicate with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Mindfulness has been shown to improve one’s emotional well-being, which has a positive ripple effect on your work and home life. The good news is that even if you’re exceptionally busy, mindfulness only takes a few minutes and can actually help with communication.
1. Even if you’re busy, commit to developing mindful habits
Being ‘busy’ is something that many people assume is a good thing. However, when you’re so busy, it’s easy to let important habits slip, such as regular exercise or self-development. Mindfulness is much like exercise. The more you do it, the better your results will be.
Mindfulness doesn’t require specialist equipment, but it does require commitment. By building some mindfulness practices into your daily routine, you’ll soon feel the benefits in your busy life. Here are a few mindful habits you can easily adopt into your daily schedule:
- Go to bed earlier and avoid screens 2 hours before sleep
- Read self-development books and blogs
- Use a meditation app to do guided meditation etc.
2. Engage with mindful communication
You’re in a meeting or just happened to run into someone down the hallway and you’ve fallen into conversation. Other thoughts may be whizzing around your head about your deadlines, or other important projects.
Next thing, you’ve missed an important question or point in the conversation. You can try to blag your way through and guess the ‘right’ response. But this often makes you look absent-minded and further discredits you.
Mindfulness and communication go hand in hand, so when you’re next speaking to someone, aim to focus on their words and let the chatter of your other priorities fade out. Take a few deep breaths and tune into your conversation and your posture. Take on board what they are saying and ask questions at the right points without interrupting. You’ll come across as calm, collected, and focused on the moment. This can help you in a number of stressful situations such as job interviews and meetings.
3. Try mindfulness when giving a presentation
As part of your role, you need to give a presentation. If the thought of standing up in front of a group of people makes you nervous, mindfulness is an excellent tool to combat this. You can practice mindfulness from the start of the entire process – from planning to execution.
When planning and thinking of ideas, make yourself focus on the task at hand and solely work on that task for an allotted period of time. When it comes to giving the presentation, rather than sitting feeling nervous, tune into your surroundings and touch base with the task at hand. Try to move with purpose, rather than getting up from your chair as quickly as possible and then going to the front of the room in a nervous manner.
Breathing in and out slowly helps to control your heart rate and prevents any ‘flight or fight’ thoughts that may rush through your head. Focus on your sensations and talk with care and purpose. As a result, you will feel and look more confident.
4. Practice gratitude and kindness to yourself and others
Gratitude can help you express yourself better to your peers. Take a moment to be thankful for the small things, even in your busy office environment.
Use positive language in your internal thoughts and towards other people. Take a moment to step into their shoes and see it from their perspective. Practice forgiveness and let the little, unimportant things go. If the annoying thing is still bothering you later in the day, spend some time reflecting on the matter and how you can improve it in a constructive manner.
5. Schedule breaks in your day
Have you been so busy that you barely managed to eat lunch and arrived home at 5 pm wondering where the day went? This leaves you feeling tired and stressed out. Rather than wonder where the time went, remember to ‘check in’ with yourself a few times a day. Set a reminder on your calendar or phone to step back and breathe. Sit with your eyes closed, hands on your lap, and back straight. Flex different parts of your body, and feel the sensation and your breath. Take stock of your day and feel positive about it.
Taking 5 minutes will help to refocus your thoughts. If you can, go into another room and touch base with your body and your breathing. These breaks are a great time to go and get some fresh air, or make a drink to stay hydrated. Looking after your body helps you to stay mindful and get the most out of your day. You will feel refreshed and better able to cope with anything your day may throw at you.
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Maurice De Castro
Maurice De Castro is the Founder of Mindful Presenter. Maurice is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s most successful brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organization lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at https://mindfulpresenter.com/.