Mindfulness and coaching. How does that sound to you?
If you’re interested in coaching then you’re courageously pursuing self-knowledge and what that brings – an increased ability to simply go in life where you want to go, chose work, people and circumstances that support your well-being.
My interest in mindfulness goes back to my Master’s Degree University course in Psychology. Five years of intensive studies culminated in thesis research, and I wanted to know why some people respond to perceived stressful situations in a positive way, they evaluate the situations as a Challenge. Others look at the same situation and all they can see is: Threat! and their alarm bells go off! What innate template filters their perception?
The results showed a positive correlation between optimism and appraisal of stressful situations as a challenge. “That’s great!”, I thought, being an optimist myself.
But how to increase optimism? The literature didn’t seem to provide much information.
The answers came through my Diploma in Coaching and my postgraduate level training in Human Givens Psychotherapy. Pessimists are more likely to accentuate the negative aspects of any given situation : how this is not going to work out, limitations, “this is all my fault”, they think. An unhealthy imbalance in this direction and catastrophizing lead to depression. But depression can be successfully treated! And this is where mindfulness comes to the picture.
We all can become better equipped at calming the part of the brain which is responsible for raising alarm where there is no real need to become alarmed. Mindfulness offers a wealth of useful techniques designed as tools that help us to calm down, to stay in control and see the bigger picture. Black-and-white thinking gets replaced with activating the prefrontal cortex which results in the increase of executive and cognitive functions. Through using techniques developed by practitioners of mindfulness it is possible throughout the day to engage in observing the self, this part of us which can step back, be more objective and recognise itself as a unique center of awareness, separate from intellect, emotion and conditioning.
In my next posts I will introduce you to powerful techniques that will give you mastery over primitive parts of the brain, so that you can stay in control, calm and collected in the face of stress, really equipped to choose your goals and follow through.
So mindfulness and coaching. How does that sound to you? I would be delighted to read your comments!
Krystyna Zalewska. MA(Psych)PSI Grad, P.Dip( HGI)
Human Givens Therapist
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