Mindfulness: Access Greater Clarity and Focus

Let’s be honest. Even if we love our jobs, they can be a significant source of stress with pressure hitting us from all sides – our employees, our stakeholders, our boss or board, deadlines and deliverables, and simply the moving target that is leading in today’s global and local environments. On top of that, leaders are even more vulnerable to blurred lines between their work and personal lives with the virtual workplace and being “on” 24/7 digitally becoming more the norm. Mounting pressure and the inability to unplug (or hit the metaphorical snooze button) can wreak havoc on overall well-being and thus, effectiveness. Mindfulness is a tool to access greater clarity and focus.

Though its roots are derived from ancient Buddhist traditions, mindfulness has surged in popularity over the last few decades as a means to deal with stress and anxiety. Companies such as Google, Nike and Goldman Sachs see the benefits of mindfulness.

Learn about the history of mindfulness.

What Would Help You Practice Mindfulness?

What Would Help You Practice Mindfulness?


A mindfulness definition is simply focusing on the present moment rather than thinking about the past or the future. It’s gently and intentionally bringing and maintaining an awareness of the now – of our thoughts and emotions, our observations, and our environment. It is paying attention to what is happening right now, in this moment. It’s a moment to moment connection between you and the world in which you live, regardless of the situation or circumstances.


Mindfulness provides a tool, an approach to everyday life that cultivates mindful interaction in and with the world.  Mindfulness calms the mind by cultivating focus and tranquility, providing a feeling of liberation.  It frees us from ruminating over a past we cannot change and from obsessing about a future we cannot predict with certainty.

“The goal of mindfulness isn’t to stop thinking, or to empty the mind. Rather, the point is to pay close attention to your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions in order to see them more clearly, without making so many assumptions, or making up stories.”
-Mayo Clinic
Breathe Into The Moment

Breathe Into The Moment

Slow Down to Go Fast

Slow Down to Go Fast


The three components of mindfulness are…

  1. Intention: This is your why for practicing mindfulness, what you’re hoping to get or gain.
  2. Attention: Paying attention to your experience (both internal and external) is mindfulness.
  3. Attitude:  Mindfulness includes paying attention to your attitudes.

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

There is large and expanding body of empirical research that supports the benefits of mindfulness, identifying measurable effects of mindfulness on the body and brain.

According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness:
  • Reduces Rumination
  • Reduces Stress
  • Boosts to Working Memory
  • Enhances Focus
  • Reduces Emotional Reactivity
  • Increases Cognitive Flexibility
  • Increases Relationship Satisfaction
  • Other benefits:
    • Enhanced self-insight
    • Fear modulation
    • Increased immune functioning
    • Greater positive affect
    • Reduction in psychological distress
    • Increased information processing speed
    • Reduction in pain, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, burnout (Mayo Clinic)
Mindfulness Can Elevate Wellness On All Levels

Mindfulness Can Elevate Wellness On All Levels

Take Time To Just Be

Take Time To Just Be


  • Slow down and sip your morning coffee (tea). Notice the smell, temperature, what the cup feels like in your hands as you hold it.
  • Set a reminder once a day to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and notice your breathing, what you’re feeling in your body, the sounds around you, all the sensory data.
  • Take a look at what feels “automatic” in your daily life. Pick one thing and do it differently (e.g., use a French press instead of automatic drip coffee maker). By switching up your routine, you have an opportunity to be more engaged with that activity.
  • Change up your workout routine to something new and different.


There are numerous ways to practice mindfulness, from taking brief, intentional pauses during the workday to a full-on, structured meditation practice.
See what feels right relative to the activity, time investment and your life/work style.

Uncomplicated Mindfulness Exercises

  • Pause Practice
  • Physical Reminders to Slow Down
    • Integrate Essential Oil
    • An object (e.g., a pen, a bracelet, a coin)
  • Slower Breathing (3 count in, 6 count out)

More Structured Mindfulness Techniques

Body Scan
  • You can do this exercise standing or sitting, in any environment – anywhere, anytime
  • We often operate in our head/mind, so this exercise is meant to presence your body
  • 100% of our capacity to deliver results resides in our bodies
Mindfulness Is In The Quiet Noticing

Mindfulness Is In The Quiet Noticing

Step 1:

Bring your attention to your body, starting from head to toe or from toe head.

Step 2:

Note the connection between the sensations and your environment emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.

Step 3:

Note the connection between the sensations and your environment emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.

A Deeper Connection with Self

A Deeper Connection with Self

Sitting Meditation

  • Decide how long you want to sit in meditation – 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes…
  • Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor and relax your body
  • Close your eyes and breath to a count of 3 in and 6 out for several rounds
  • Notice the breath moving into and around your body, focusing on where the air hits your nostrils – notice where in your body you feel any tension and visualize the breath going into those areas
  • If your mind wanders and a thought enters your head, gently set it aside – do not engage with it or analyze it – let it pass
  • Continue this sitting meditation for as long as you intended
  • Be kind to yourself, even if you didn’t reach your target meditation length of time

Extra step:  spend a few moments reflecting on how you felt during and right after the meditation

Walking Meditation

  • For some of us, we need to move our bodies in order to quiet our minds
  • Find a quiet space away from others that inspires you, comforts you (inside or outside), 10-20 feet long (outside in nature is best, if possible)
  • Walk slowly and intentionally, back and forth
  • Pay attention to your breathing, in and out, in and out
  • Relax into the moment
  • Notice what you feel, sense, experience within yourself and your environment
  • If a thought enters your mind, gently it go
Walking Is a Form of Mindfulness Movement

Walking Is a Form of Mindfulness Movement

Center Into The Now Along Your Journey

Center Into The Now Along Your Journey

Research shows that being outdoors engages the senses and is particularly beneficial to mind and body.

Mindful Movement

  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • Guided mindful, gentle movement and postures
  • Mindful breathing is important to practice
Access Mindfulness Through Your Body

Access Mindfulness Through Your Body

This moment is a gift. That’s why they call it the present. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt