Centering exercises for meetings
10 Mindfulness Exercises To Start A Meeting
Here at Move This World, we believe strongly in opening and closing every meeting with a mindful exercise. Why do we do this? Because work can be stressful. Work that is directly touching and impacting the lives of children is inherently stressful.
Centering exercises for meetings gives us a chance to refocus, reconnect and stay present in the moment. By grounding ourselves we are able to be fully present with our colleagues, which in turn makes our meetings more purposeful. We are then able to close every meeting with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.
Educators deal with grueling demands, conflicting responsibilities, the needs of their students, and on top of everything else, staff meetings. Mindfulness can be incorporated into every staff meeting. Whether you work in a Fortune 500 company or in an elementary school, the benefits will quickly become apparent. However, it can be particularly impactful to the wellbeing of educators that mindfulness is made a constant theme throughout every staff meeting – a time where they are able to connect with colleagues and build meaningful systems for support.
Incorporating mindfulness exercises for staff meetings is a great way to communicate to staff that their wellbeing is valued, and that actionable steps are being taken to prevent burnout. Mindfulness exercises can also improve teacher morale. Executing these strategies can be very simple – check out these easy steps for adding mindfulness, meaning, and purpose to your staff meetings.
10 mindfulness exercises to start a meeting:
Open every meeting with mindful breaths.
Set an intention for every meeting.
Include a meaningful quote for the agenda.
Check the emotional temperature of the room.
Break the ice and incorporate play with these games.
Play calming music during meetings.
Set up an oil diffuser.
Pass around sensory toys.
Spend time recognizing individual milestones and achievements.
Close meetings by expressing gratitude.
Incorporating mindfulness into staff meetings can help you begin to cultivate wellness at your school or district. Implementing a wellness plan for staff may seem difficult – but it doesn’t have to be. Educators need mindfulness in order to support a healthy school environment where students are able to thrive – act now and add mindful practices into your next staff meeting.
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Move This World is the leading provider of social emotional learning (SEL) multimedia experiences for students, teachers, and families. Our SEL programs are customized for PreK-12 students and are delivered through short interactive lessons with the goal of empowering students to navigate the rapidly-changing realities of their world – both in the classroom and throughout their lives. The impactful yet simple Move This World SEL curriculum allows educators and families to incorporate Social Emotional Learning into their schedules every day, without planning or prep.
Contact us to learn more about SEL Grants and bringing Social Emotional Learning to your classroom.
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4 Mindfulness Practices to Transform Team Meetings — JumpScale
As the pandemic continues, we've noticed that the companies we work with at JumpScale are experiencing similar trends: employees feel increasingly stressed and depressed, burned out on Zoom and their 24/7 connection to tech, and craving more real connection with their teams. One of the most powerful allies we've found to support company culture, boost employee wellness and address workplace stress in this "new normal" is based in a set of teachings that have been around for centuries: mindfulness.
While mindfulness has become a bit of mainstream buzzword, there's a reason it's quickly graduating out of spiritual contexts and gaining more and more traction in business settings: it's extremely effective and super simple. Research shows that incorporating basic mindfulness practices that help employees connect to the present moment (though practices like breathing and meditation) can help them reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity, find more focus and ignite creativity.
What better place to integrate mindfulness into your work day than the (virtual) space you connect daily: your team meetings.
At JumpScale, we encourage our clients to start every meeting mindfully, and our team does the same (practice what you preach, as they say). Here are our four favorite practices that help us pause, get grounded, and find connection with ourselves and each other. No experience necessary, just a willingness to try something new!
1.Mindful Mediation Pause
Many of us race from meeting to meeting or task to task, and our minds race right alongside us. Starting a meeting with a moment or a few minutes of silence can be just the break you need to get grounded before switching gears again. Simply have your team members put their feet on the ground, close their eyes, and give them some time to quietly arrive with a short meditation before you begin your meeting.
2.Find Your Breath
One of the easiest and quickest ways to support the nervous system to shift out of the flight or fight stress response is through diaphragmatic breathing (a fancy term for simply focusing on the rhythm of your breath!). There are many ways to kick off a meeting with some intentional breath, but here are a few we like most:
Close your eyes and take three extra slow, deep breaths. Bring the breath in as far as you can on the inhale and out on the exhale before starting again.
Set a timer and engage in ocean breathing, taking long breaths in through your nose and then exhaling out of the mouth. Breath slowly and continuously until the time is up.
Do a few rounds of a specific breathing technique like box breathing (breathing in for a count of 4, holding for 4, exhaling for 4, holding for 4). This is a little more complicated, but counting gives your mind something to focus on while your body gets the nourishing benefits of your breath.
If you find your team is getting lost or seems unfocused during the meditation or breathing practices, it can be helpful to offer a little guidance, pointing them to simply notice their experience. Simple prompts like "feel the temperature of your breath," "bring your awareness to how your breath feels" or "what do you notice as you breathe?" can help bring them a bit deeper into their experience.
We've found that creating opportunities for more authentic sharing, through a check in at the beginning of a meeting, is one of the best ways to build connections and boost morale which helps employees feel more present and happier at work. Checking-in with your team to see how everyone is doing can be an incredible valuable use of 5-10 minutes at the start of team meetings.
Asking deeper or more specific questions and having each person answer is the easiest place to start. However, if you're working with a big group or a timid group, it can be both time prohibitive and intimidating for individuals to share with the full group. Utilize Zoom breakout rooms for paired shares or small group shares to disarm any discomfort or more efficiently use your time. Here are some of our favorite inquiries to get you started:
How are you feeling, REALLY?
Share a high and a low from today (or this week)
Where are you stuck? Where are you in flow?
If you really knew me, one thing you would know...
My hands-down favorite meal (or hobby, or insert anything here) is...
4.The Gifts of Gratitude
At JumpScale we constantly remind ourselves that what you appreciate, appreciates. So why not practice appreciating more? Many studies have shown that focusing on what you are grateful for boosts your mood, makes you feel healthier, decreases stress and anxiety and builds resilience. Even the tiniest amount of time spent reflecting on gratitude can create huge positive ripples for you, your team and your company.
Our team loves the practice we call "breaths of gratitude". Each participant in the meeting names something they feel grateful for and immediately after each share everyone takes a big, deep breath in and out together. A gratitude practice like this is also a great way to end a meeting, letting your team members name their gratitudes popcorn style.
Add any of these practices to your mindful meeting toolkit or start experimenting with some of your own (experimentation IS the mother of invention) as you begin to cultivate a culture of mindfulness within your organization. We hope that these tools will help build a powerful foundation of presence and connection within your teams, leading to improved health, happiness and resilience no matter what obstacles you may be facing.
If you’d like to learn more about how your company/organization can put these types of wellness programs into practice, please let us know!
Bonnie Coberly is a Senior Advisor at JumpScale and a highly sought-after executive health coach, business consultant, wellness entrepreneur and breathwork practitioner with 15 years of experience in the health, wellness and organic food industries.
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15 exercises that will help you concentrate on work — Work.ua
Successful people often say “concentrate on the main thing”. But what if the problem is in the process of concentration itself? Work.ua will show the output with examples.
How often we cannot collect our thoughts, our horses, into a single whole. When some external irritants interfere with work - noise, constant notifications by mail or in social networks, questions from colleagues - everything is clear here:
- you need to close yourself from time eaters as much as possible - close social networks, mail during work;
- put on headphones or move to a less noisy room if possible;
- plan time for communication, for specific work, for rest.
Another thing is when the time eater sits inside us, and all the usual “remember why you are doing this” and “rest and reward yourself” do not help. Then comes the time for heavy artillery - concentration exercises. Work.ua shares the most effective and easy to implement. nine0005
1. Exercise “Sounds of Nature”
Listen to the sounds of nature. You can do this wherever you are. Select one of the sounds. Listen to it, hold it. Thus, you will simultaneously stop the internal dialogue and learn concentration. Oddly enough, but this exercise is not easy to perform.
2. Exercise “I see, hear, feel”
It is convenient to perform a complicated version of the previous exercise on the way to work. In the process of walking, consciously observe the world around you with the three main channels of perception - "I see, I hear, I feel." I see - for a few seconds with increased attention you note everything that falls into your field of vision: people, road, trees, clouds. I hear - shift the focus of attention to hearing: voices, the noise of cars, the wind in the foliage, the chirping of sparrows. I feel the touch of clothes, the unevenness of the road with my feet, the wind in my face, the beating of my heart. nine0005
After a while, try to combine the focus on all three channels - that is, to perceive information on all channels almost simultaneously. If at least fragmentarily it turns out to feel everything together, voluminously, this is a good result.
3. Walking Escalator Exercise
A good exercise before the start of the day. The task is to count the number of steps from object to object. If you have not lost count for the standard section of the path, then you are well focused and ready to go. nine0005
4. Exercise “Read counting”
Take some text and start reading it at your usual speed. While reading, count the number of words in the text. To count, use only your eyes, do not help yourself with your fingers. Do this exercise for 2-3 minutes. Test yourself and compare your results. Strive to ensure that the first result does not differ from the second.
5. Color blind exercise
Try to quickly name the color in which the words are written. Don't read the words, just name the color. nine0005
This task is easy for children to complete, adults should practice.
6. Exercise according to the Munsterberg method
The essence of the method: read a continuous alphabetic text for two minutes and find encrypted words, of which there are 23 in this test. If you found all the words in 2 minutes, this is a good result. If you found less than 23 words, then for each missing word you add a 5 second penalty (the threshold time is exactly 2 minutes). If you missed 2 minutes, it means that you have below average concentration, you need to practice more. nine0005
7. Exercise "Cardiogram"
Draw a line slowly and smoothly on a clean sheet of paper with a pencil and focus all thoughts and attention only on it. As soon as you catch yourself on a distraction, make a peak upwards, as on a cardiogram, and continue. Based on the results, it is easy to calculate how many times you are distracted. A good level of concentration if there is no peak in 3 minutes. At first, your attention will certainly "go to the side." Your task with each subsequent workout is to reduce the frequency of distraction. nine0005
8. Concentration on the word
Choose a short two-syllable word that evokes positive emotions in you or with which pleasant memories are associated. Mentally pronounce the first syllable as you inhale, the second as you exhale. Focus on your word, which can become your personal slogan with concentration.
9. Focusing on an object
In your head, the spotlight is your attention. We illuminate any object with a spotlight for two minutes. Everything else goes into darkness. We look only at this subject. You can blink, but the gaze must remain within the subject. We return to it again and again, look at it, find all the new lines, details, shades. If you were able to maintain sincere interest during the allotted time, this is a good result. nine0005
10. Watch exercise
Watch the second hand for 2 minutes without distraction. Aerobatics exercises with a clock - the Klinsman exercise. The famous German footballer came up with a way to train his concentration before the match: with the help of tweezers, he completely disassembled and carefully reassembled the entire clock mechanism, achieving a thorough clock. If you don’t have extra details left, this is already a good level.
11. Exercise "Sphinx"
It is necessary to be in a chair absolutely still, completely still, not moving, stopping any involuntary muscular movements. Let go of thoughts, let them also come and go in a relaxed way, without purposely directing them anywhere. Well, if you achieve a comfortable motionless state of the wise sphinx within 15 minutes. With outward simplicity, the exercise is difficult.
Focus on your feelings. Direct your attention to the foot of the right foot, feel the toes, the sole. Feel the contact of the feet with the floor, the sensations that arise from this contact. Focus on your right hand. Feel the fingers, the palm, the surface of the hand, the whole hand. Feel your forearm, elbow. Feel the contact of the armrest of the chair with your hand and the feeling it causes. Feel the left hand in the same way. Feel the lower back, back, contact with the chair. Focus on the face - nose, eyelids, forehead, cheekbones, chin. Feel the touch of air on your face. nine0005
13. Exercise "Fly"
Imagine a field for playing tic-tac-toe three by three. A fly sits in the central field. The task is to move the fly so that it does not go beyond the edges of the field, without losing it with its focus of attention. There are only four moves - "up", "down", "right", "left". The fly does not walk diagonally, the fly does not reverse. Of course, moving the fly is purely mental. If you lasted five minutes without errors, this is a good level of concentration.
The exercise can be made more difficult — “Two flies”. There are two flies on the field - fly one and fly two. Flies walk in turn, for example: "Fly one - up", "Fly two - to the right." The rules and the task are the same: mentally not to lose flies and not to make mistakes. Three minutes without errors is a good result. nine0005
The most difficult option is the "Volumetric Fly". Imagine the field for playing tic-tac-toe is no longer flat, but voluminous, like a "Rubik's Cube". In the very center of this three-dimensional field, inside, sits a fly. The task is the same - to move without mistakes and not to lose the fly. Two more moves are added to the previous moves "up", "down", "right", "left" - "towards" and "from oneself".
14. Exercise "Counting"
This exercise is also a good way to concentrate, calm down and gather attention before an important situation, negotiations, speech. Sitting quietly and silently, slowly count in your mind from one to thirty, fully concentrating on the numbers. nine0005
There are two versions of the exercise: with closed eyes - an easier version, with open eyes - more difficult, there are more distractions. If any extraneous thought distracts from the account, everything starts all over again. Think only about numbers! If you managed to count to thirty without distraction, this is a good indicator of your concentration of attention.
15. Can you do it faster?
This exercise should be done already during work, especially if you are doing routine or difficult tasks that you do not want to do. Get yourself interested in competing against yourself for the time being. Will I be able to do it faster than before? Note the time and command to start, attention, march. All the time stimulate yourself with competition - to do faster than before. nine0005
High efficiency is impossible without a highly developed concentration of attention. Work.ua wishes you to develop this quality, apply it in your life and learn how to get things done faster.
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5 Exercises to Develop Phenomenal Concentration
Concentration is, simply put, the ability to concentrate when needed. It is easier for a person who is able to concentrate attention in time, without being distracted by external factors, to go through life and achieve success. Developing mindfulness through exercises and special techniques will help increase concentration. nine0005
- Causes of insufficient concentration of attention
- How to assess the level of concentration of attention
- Exercises for the development of concentration of attention
- Techniques for the development of concentration of attention
Causes of insufficient concentration of attention
switches to another occupation, thereby straying from the desired path. Poor concentration and loss of alertness can be triggered by the following factors:
- insufficient sleep;
- TV included;
- traffic noise;
- extraneous conversations and actions;
- stress and depression;
- drug or alcohol exposure.
In order to avoid disturbance of concentration during work, and to ensure the development of concentration, protect yourself from the listed interferences.
How to assess the level of concentration of attention
To understand the state of your mindfulness, a methodology has been developed to study the concentration and stability of attention. Before answering the question of how to increase concentration, it is recommended to take a test.
- Münsterberg method.
The test will help determine the level of concentration, selectivity of attention and noise immunity.
Among the indicated letters there are words that need to be highlighted. Two minutes are allotted for the test. Get the maximum focus. nine0005
In two minutes they found all the encrypted words - concentration at the proper height. The allotted time for the test seemed a lot - an excellent result. Two minutes was not enough - the concentration of attention is low. Give yourself 5 seconds for each word you couldn't find.
- Ten words.
This test tests the state of concentration and the work of short-term memory.
To pass the test, you need another person to read ten words for you. The chosen words cannot be related by meaning or associations. nine0005
Pillow, cake, snow, poodle, notebook, trick, slippers, autumn, ship, brick.
If after the first reading of the words you named 8 - the level of concentration of attention at a height. Repeated 7 words - a satisfactory state of concentration. Named less than 7 words - concentration at a low level.
- Schulte test.
Use one table for one attempt. In each of the tables, among the scattered numbers, you need to show and name the numbers in order from 1 to 25. Record the time spent on the test. nine0005
Attention concentration at a height if you spent no more than 40 seconds on the test (one table). The test took from 40 to 50 seconds - the average level of attention. Spent more than 50 seconds - low level of attentiveness. Schulte's technique - checking the level of concentration and at the same time training attention.
Exercises for developing concentration
After checking the level of mindfulness, let's look at how to develop concentration. An effective method of increasing concentration is exercise. The following exercises do not require much time and effort, are performed daily, at every opportunity. nine0005
- Awareness of what is happening.
While at home, on the street, at work, do not be in prostration. Try to focus your attention on what is going on around you. Focus on what you are doing, who is around, what people are doing, what the weather is like.
This exercise will help you easily increase the level of concentration.
- Performing conscious actions.
Learn to perform habitual actions consciously and attentively. Take every moment of life seriously, as if a lot depends on how you move your legs when walking, wipe the dust, put on clothes. nine0005
This kind of exercise will teach you to concentrate on things. The exercise will help increase the power of attention.
- The ability to see the hidden.
Doing the exercise, look at the objects around and notice new properties, qualities of things, appearance of objects. Try to see things you didn't see before.
The exercise will form the skill of switching concentration from one subject to another without losing concentration.
- Line. nine0010
Have a piece of white paper and a pen or pencil ready for the activity. The line should be drawn smoothly and slowly. Concentrate on the line being drawn. As soon as you realize that you are distracted, draw a line up. It should look like a cardiogram. The exercise is carried out for 3 minutes.
The result is positive only if the line remains straight.
Classical music for concentration - a way to increase the level of concentration. The improvement of mindfulness while listening to music occurs due to the impact of the melody and harmony of the classical genre on the right hemisphere of the brain . When performing a task, you need to relax and distract from extraneous thoughts. The music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Tchaikovsky is suitable for the exercise.
Techniques for developing attention concentration
The development of concentration will go faster if you use exercises and special techniques to train attention.
- Black dot.
This mindfulness development technique involves maintaining a high concentration on an object for a long time. nine0005
For this activity, prepare a white sheet of paper with a black dot drawn in the middle. Fix the drawing at a distance of one meter from you. Take a comfortable position so that the sheet with the dot remains at eye level. Close your eyes and let go of thoughts and images. After sinking into a state of rest, open your eyes and look at the point. Try not to look away, do not blink. Without thinking about anything, without straining, keep your attention only on the black dot. The technique is performed within 20-30 minutes. At the end of the session, close your eyes, observing the residual effect of the black dot until it disappears completely. nine0005
- "Burning Candle".
The technique of concentrating on the flame of a burning candle helps to increase the level of mindfulness. Place a lit candle half a meter away from you. Sit so that the flame burns at eye level. Make sure the room is quiet so that nothing distracts you from your session. Turn off light and noise sources. Close your eyes and disengage from intrusive thoughts and images. When you relax and calm down, look at the candle flame. Without blinking, fix your gaze on the tip of the fire. The technique takes 30 minutes. Next, continue to look at the candle with your eyes closed until the picture disappears completely. nine0005
Learn to meditate. The meditation technique will help to achieve the highest level of concentration of mindfulness by distracting from the outside and focusing on inner sensations.
To complete the activity, take a mechanical watch and place it on the table. Get in a comfortable position and relax. You need to concentrate on the clock hand, without thinking about anything. The technique is performed until, during a full revolution of the second hand, not a single thought visits you, nothing distracts from the process. nine0005
The Clock technique trains attention and helps to concentrate.
Sit in a comfortable position and relax. Breathe smoothly and freely. Move your gaze to the tip of the nose, and fix your attention on it. Follow only the sensations, breathing and gaze at the tip of the nose, distract from all thoughts. As soon as thoughts switch to something else, return to the starting point.