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Mindful Leadership

Mindful Leadership in Action – Tip of the Week – If You Experience Recurring Unpleasant Thoughts, Do Not Argue With the Mind, Rather Look to the Body for the Answer

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Sooner or later we all experience unpleasant or unproductive thoughts.  In some cases they may be obsessive thoughts.  These are thoughts you just can’t seem to get out of your mind and they are unsettling. When this happens the customary reaction is to try to reason with the mind or to mount an argument as to why it isn’t so.  If you are like most people, if the thoughts are strong enough and disturbing enough, it becomes a losing battle.  The harder you try the stronger they get.  This is because what we resist, persist.

You may be left with a sense of frustration and feeling like your resolve or will power is week.  However, this is likely not the case at all.  What you may have overlooked is that persistent thoughts are accompanied by physical sensations in the body associated with emotion.  And if you don’t locate the sensation or once located you don’t stay with it, it will drive your behaviour.

The strategy is to notice, as soon as possible, that unhelpful thinking is taking place and then immediately go to the body to see where the sensation resides.  Once you’ve located it, pour your concentration into the sensation.  It may take some time, but with practice the sensations will dissolve and along with them, the unwanted thoughts.

As a leader, it is important to be aware of what is happening in your mind.  If you do this moment by moment it enables you to be present and aware of how you impact others and how your environment is impacting you.  And this increases your effectiveness and makes you a Mindful leader.

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