“Stop and smell the roses.”
You’ve heard it before and it can sound so cliche. But, that wise piece of advice could save your job, your marriage and your life.
Slowing down and appreciating the moment is an integral part of mindfulness. Studies show when you are more mindful, you solve problems easier and are more productive and creative. Mindfulness helps reduce stress and all the health problems related to it, like high blood pressure and sleep disorders. When it comes to our personal and professional relationships, one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone is our full attention.
Next month, when I speak to Kellogg’s employees in Battle Creek, Michigan, we’ll explore how mindfulness will help them enjoy more work-life balance.
Mindfulness is like a muscle that needs to be strengthened through repetition. So, how can you do that? By finding a practice that you can consistently engage in. For me, it’s spending time in my garden. Whether I’m weeding or just walking around, I literally stop and smell the roses and take pictures of flowers like this one. I took this photo yesterday while deadheading the roses.
Sometimes, I start my garden time with a question and know I’ll be inspired. This morning, the one word that emerged was “Potential” as I became aware of all the blooms that would soon turn into fruit. Clockwise, from top left, are future apples, lemons, tomatoes and grapes. It prompted me to reflect on my own potential and the potential of those I speak to and mentor.
Some people choose to be mindful at each meal, taking a moment to silently thank those who grew, prepared and served their food, and then engaging all their senses as they slowly eat it. Others practice “listening with a pen,” which means they pay full attention to the person they are speaking with as if they were taking notes.
Taking deep, cleansing breaths throughout the day–especially at times of stress–can help ground and center you. So can a simple affirmation, like: “I am awake, aware and alive.”
What mindfulness practice works for you?