By Barb Ward

If life over the past few years hasn’t caused you enough stress and chaos, the summer months are now upon you. As you look ahead to the coming weekend, if you’re like many, you’re thinking, “Wow, how am I going to get everything done… I am so busy, I just don’t have time to think!” Now, not only is your workweek packed, but you’ve got weeds to pull, lawn to mow, and flowers to tend to. If you have kids, you likely have baseball, softball, soccer, or volleyball practices and games to attend. Indeed, life does not slow down for the summer. All of your leadership development training tells you it’s imperative that you take time for yourself. However, YOU. JUST. DON’T. HAVE. TIME.

But honestly, if you keep waiting until things slow down to be mindful and take a moment out to recharge, you will be waiting forever. And the truth is, not only does mindfulness play a key role in your personal life, but it is also an essential leadership skill. Mindfulness and emotional intelligence are parallel paths to living a conscious and fulfilling life. The practice of mindfulness inherently enhances our emotional intelligence, as it strengthens our ability to be present and attend to all that is in front of us, while simultaneously attending to what is happening within us.

Sometimes, just using elements of inner speak can help you transform that 15-minute wait in the doctor’s office or your commute home into a rejuvenating break instead of a stressful, watching-the-clock, getting-frustrated moment. 

Being mindful means being truly present in the moment and intentionally sensing, hearing, and feeling what is going on around you without judgment, you can learn how to relax your mind and refocus your energy. Here are some ways to use natural breaks in activity to your benefit:

Mindfulness techniques:

Take a deep breath, relax your body, and just be in the moment. Slowly exhale and release any nervous energy. Imagine all of your worries being encircled by a big balloon and carried off into the sky. Practice just being present in what is going on around you. Settle your mind and focus on your breathing.

Focus on what you can see:

  • People walking
  • A pretty sunset
  • Dogs playing in the yard

Focus on what you can hear:

  • A clock ticking
  • Voices talking
  • Music playing
  • A phone ringing

Focus on what you can feel:

  • The warm sun on your face
  • A cool breeze
  • Physical sensations in your body
  • The phone in your hand

The more you practice these techniques, the more quickly you will be able to coax your body into a relaxed state which, in turn, offers many health benefits. In fact, evidence shows that mindfulness can:

In fact, mindfulness has been studied extensively, and has been shown to help: 

  • Reduce stress by making individuals more aware of their stress triggers and develop healthier responses to them. It has been found to reduce stress-related symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and burnout.
  • Improve mental health by helping reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse and improve overall psychological well-being.
  • Enhance cognitive abilities by improving attention, concentration, working memory, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and self-control.
  • Increase resilience and the ability to bounce back from adversity by helping individuals develop a more balanced perspective on challenging situations, and foster a sense of self-compassion and acceptance.
  • Improve physical health by helping lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep quality, and strengthen the immune system. 
  • Enhance emotional regulation by helping individuals become more aware of their emotions and respond to them in a more productive manner. In turn, this can help improve interpersonal relationships.
  • Enhance creativity and problem-solving by cultivating an open and non-judgmental mindset, individuals can generate more innovative ideas and find new solutions to challenges.
  • Improve relationships through better communication, empathy, and compassion. It can help individuals become more present and attentive in their interactions, fostering deeper connections, and understanding with others.

When you take a few moments to reconnect with what’s important around you and truly be present in the moment, you as a leader, and an individual, show people they are worth your time, and that helps you build trust, connection, and interpersonal relationships, which are all key ingredients to success in both your personal and professional lives.

If you’d like a free consultation to talk about how professional coaching services or leadership development training can help you build your self-awareness and mindfulness skills, we’d love to talk to you.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation at or call us at 970-279-3330.

Our mission is to give voice and action to an emerging future. As a partner in your success, we would love to come alongside you to help you find your voice, see your vision, and imagine what the right action could be for you, your team, and your organization.