Mindfulness ... oh, what a difference 6 minutes can make

OCTOBER 16, 2020

Challenging times necessitate a challenging practice … for unwinding. Your only challenge in this task, however, is to focus on your breath. 

This is what our mindfulness partner studio BE recently encouraged in a guided meditation, offering our team an introduction to mindful breathing. The goal for this weekly series of trainings is to learn resilience and steadiness, a good mix for gaining fortitude amidst a climate of global uncertainties. 

Harnessing the ease and access to e-learning, members of the AlphaGroup team quieted our thoughts and settled into a 12-minute virtual lesson. While learning the basics for relaxing our minds and focusing on breathing, we took away an important finding. A simple 6-minute exercise in mindfulness can be a beneficial bookend for successfully completing and transitioning from one task or responsibility to another. 

The AlphaGroup engaged studio B to teach practices for managing stress.

The learned practitioners of meditation call this exercise “mind training.” Comparable to physical training at the gym, the more you strengthen your focus on the breath, the easier it becomes and the more capacity you have to sustain concentration over time. We actually found it quite liberating to stay focused and to keep intrusive thoughts in the background. By strengthening our minds, we avoid going down tangential rabbit holes. This allows us greater acuity for whatever the task is at hand. Perhaps this is where we may embrace the true meaning of “be here now.”

studio BE believes in the power of using technology for good and coming together for the betterment of all.

So the next time you find your mind racing and feel as though you are not able to give a task your undivided attention, pause and take a 6-minute break. Here are some takeaways we learned that can get you started on mind training. 

  • Get comfortable … wherever you are 
  • Sit upright to create alertness
  • Close your eyes or limit input coming in through the doorway of the eyes
  • Stack hands one on top of the other and place in lap
  • Deep breath in through nose
  • Slow breath out through nose
  • Repeat 
  • Pay attention to the sensation of breathing 
  • Let your internal gaze rest in the spot where you focus on your breath 
  • Repeat a similar statement on the ongoing and outgoing breath … for example, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out” 
  • Stay there for as long as feels comfortable

Remember, be gentle with yourself. Mindfulness experts were not trained in a day, and like anything, this takes practice. 

“I personally find meditation to be a challenge,” said AlphaGroup founder and partner Stephen Douthwaite. “Whether it be 6 seconds or 6 minutes, I have learned that mindfulness and breathing can make a considerable difference in balancing your brain.”

“The stress and overwhelm of COVID-19, remote work, and chronic uncertainty have had a crushing global impact. The Alpha Group invited studio BE to teach simple, yet powerful practices for better meeting the stress and burnout of these unprecedented times. studio BE’s work with the AlphaGroup has developed team members’ self-awareness, cultivated their responsive posture toward stress, and provided employees with tools for working more effectively, productively and collaboratively, even in the midst of crisis,” said studio BE founder and CEO Jennifer Ciarimboli.