I’m kicking off 2016 with a bold declaration and a clear definition.
First, the declaration: The best way to reduce stress is to practice mindful awareness.
There, I said it. All my coaching secrets given away in an eleven-word statement.
The best way, period. The best way for me. For you. For that guy over there. For teachers. For doctors. For lawyers. For computer programmers. For cattle ranchers. For retirees. For CEOs. For kids.
Now, there are a million stress-busting tips and tricks and techniques in circulation, and 2016 is only going to bring more suggestions. You got your belly breathing and you got your systematically-tensing-and-releasing-muscles and you got your massage and your yoga class and your acupuncture and vigorous exercise and light exercise and writing in a journal and talking to a supportive friend and clarifying your goals and organizing your space and managing your time and reciting positive affirmations and aromatherapy and taking a bath with special toxin-fighting ingredients. And. And And.
And: I'm down with all of it. I think it’s fantastic. I have used every single tip, trick and technique in the book – many times – and I have suggested them all to my clients. They’re helpful, and they’re nice, and they’re fun and they can be absolute lifesavers. No doubt.
But, I’ve discovered something: While tips, tricks and techniques may change your day, or your week, or your hour, they do not and cannot change your life. That is, they make it no less likely that you will be hit by another wave of stress and busyness tomorrow. They only make it more likely that you’ll go searching for another tip, trick or technique.
If we are interested in changing our life – in curing ourselves of the stress habit instead of just applying a Band-Aid to it – then we need to bring in a heavy hitter. And that heavy hitter, my friends, is mindful awareness.
Which brings me to my clear definition.
Mindful awareness means: Paying continuous attention to our experience, as it unfolds, without judgment.
For now, I will let you, gentle reader, ponder this definition on your own. My job over the next year will be to flesh out that definition more fully and completely, and recommend different ways for you to integrate it into your life.
Of course, as always, if you don’t want to wait, please contact me at email@example.com for a free coaching consultation or to learn about upcoming workshops.