We recently had a meeting at work about connecting with others through mindfulness. I wanted to share some of my take-aways from this meeting because it really resonated with me. Every day we encounter people, and every day we have a choice with how we interact with them, and that choice affects both the people we meet and see, and ourselves. These interactions can leave both parties either richer in positive experiences, or poorer, in negative ones, for having them. We have the ability to connect with others through mindfulness, both in our interactions and conversations with people, and this opportunity shouldn’t be overlooked.
The definition of mindfulness is being aware of everything around you from your thoughts and feelings to being perceptive of what another person is feeling or may be going through in life.
Mindfulness can be its own form of meditation. For example, an exercise to practice would be to focus on your breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Focus on the air coming in through your nose and the air that is coming back out. Focus on your chest rising and falling. When exercises like this are being performed, the brain is being worked. And just like going to the gym and exercising our muscles, mindfulness works the brain. The more we do it, the easier it becomes and the more we grow.
By practicing mindfulness, we can express empathy towards those around us by noticing similarities and expressing kindness. By definition, empathy is understanding and feeling other’s emotions.
A few ways to help you with empathy include but are not limited to:
- Being free from judgment
- Having an understanding of other’s feelings
- Seeing the world through another person’s eyes
- Communicating your understanding of another person’s feelings (Instead of saying “At least”, say “I’ve experienced” or “I understand”)
- Find similarities and offer kindness
Another example to help when practicing mindfulness after focusing on your breathing, is to think of someone you love. Think about how this person has a mind and body just like you. Think: has this person been sad or disappointed. Think: does this person have emotional pain or suffering. Imagine: this person free from hardship. Now thinking of this same person, imagine them full of joy and happiness. Think of them healthy, in love, and in fulfilling relationships. And finally think of them with a life full of happiness.
Essentially if meditation and connecting with others through mindfulness is practiced regularly, the brain muscles grow and we become accustomed to thinking this way. Because we are being mindful towards the people we encounter and keeping in mind what they may be going through in life, we will hopefully be nicer, kinder, and more understanding to the people in our lives and the people we may encounter in life.
Connecting with others though mindfulness can change your life in so many ways. Changing how you interact at work with co-workers and managers can make your work life much more enjoyable. This alone would help you be considered for better work opportunities, which could lead to more pay. Another aspect is real estate. By connecting with buyers, sellers, or renters, you have a better understanding of what their motivations are, what their problems are, and how we can help solve them. With an abundance mindset, being mindful and helping others is not a hinderance in anyway, or some way to get youself ahead by manipulation, but it does open yourself to so many opportunities to make connections and help others that cannot be replaced. And, if that help is reciprocated, either towards ourselves or towards others, that is a beautiful thing.
This is a weak subject for myself because I am an introvert, and sometimes, I have a hard time connecting with others and coming up with topics of discussion. I think if I practice mindfulness regularly, it would help me with my connections to those around me. Are you able to connect with others, through mindfulness or otherwise?