How many times have you just “stepped in it” with your partner, your kids, your parents, your boss, or your coworkers? Have you ever found yourself wishing you could go back and take your foot out of your mouth before entering that conversation? While I can’t offer you any time-travel tips, I can share a powerful mindfulness tip that will help you present your best self to the world more easily: take a mindful moment.
Before you walk into your boss’s office, before you pick up the phone to call Mom, before you walk through the front door to your family after work… take a mindful moment.
It really is as simple as it sounds.
I find this works very well for me in my car. Before I leave the space of my own thoughts to go interact with others, I just take a moment and drop down into the depth of my awareness and check in on myself.
Try it out for yourself and see what results you get:
Find a window of time — five minutes is ideal, but take one minute if that’s all you’ve got — and just pause. You can do this in your car, in a bathroom stall, on the train, in your office — anywhere that you can take a moment for yourself.
Check in to see what’s going on with your emotions. Name them and locate them in your body: “Oh, that’s stress in my chest; that’s frustration in my throat; that’s anxiety in my stomach.”
For each emotion you find, breathe deeply into it, then breathe out peace. Do this for several breaths until you feel the emotion begin to shift into a more peaceful state.
BONUS: You can also use this time to listen to a short guided meditation, such as those found on the Insight Timer app. Studies have shown that Loving Kindness meditations — where we are wishing goodwill to other beings — make us feel more altruistic. Try it out if you’d like to carry more calm, loving feelings with you into your next interpersonal interaction_
Take a mindful moment instead of carrying your emotional baggage into your next conversation. You’ll be glad you did — and so will whomever you encounter!