Mindful leadership balances your life

January 29, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 23, 2016 03:53 am IST

Kanan Khatau Chikhal

Kanan Khatau Chikhal

As we look around us, the incidence of stress-related disorder in business leaders is on the rise.

The ‘corporate world’ is a syndrome humans have coined, which brings with it a whole new lifestyle and existence. Odd working hours, irregular food habits, difficult work situations and inadequate coping resources add to the physical ailments. In spite of the good money it pays, when stress leads to distress a business leader has a hoard of physical symptoms. Clubbed together, it can be rephrased as ‘the results of stress disorder’. In this world, stress levels are higher than pollution levels.

Business leaders tend to blame themselves for the financial crisis and yet part of them knows they can’t do much about it. When their physical health spills over to their mental health and vice versa, is when the leader needs to call and reflect, on his or her definition of success. Success isn’t achieving a position. It is a delicate balance of your health and that of the organisation.

• Healthy leadership stands on the pillars of personal mastery of

• Attentive balance

• Equanimity of emotional intelligence

• Clarity of intention

• Peace of mind

To ensure one’s performance is accelerated, one needs to strengthen these pillars. Health equates to being mindful.

Mindful leadership gives you these tools to balance work and life: to live life and not just exist robotically. Mindful leaders pay attention on purpose in the present moment, and have a non-judgmental attitude .The constant ability to go through rapidly-changing situations develops a strong adversity quotient with presence of mind. Mindful leaders practise emotional first aid to deal with a stressful situation. They are able to focus on their thoughts and emotions. It is ‘good brain hygiene’, almost like brushing our teeth or taking a bath.

The leader is able to be an observer and doer at the same time. One eye on the problem and another outside it, and the flexibility to zoom in and out at the same time.

Benefits of mindful leadership:

• Better focus and attention• Improved time management• Better energy management skills

• A healthy mood and emotional state

• Self-regulatory capacity

• Strong immunity and physical health

• Advanced ability to handle stress

• Mind hacks for being mindful:

• Practise meditation

• Be in the ‘now’

• Attention is a limited resource. Paying attention to one thing always comes at the expense of another.

• Focus on the most important and categorise the rest as background; this helps you filter the noise

• Draw attention to your body and its sensations

• Practise breathing techniques

Mindfulness isn’t about isolating yourself in a room. It is a movement of a way of being in life: a habit.

The journey of excellence begins within.

Dr Chikhalis a performance coach for life and business

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