Life coaching is all about helping other people with their professional or personal challenges. But it’s also about understanding yourself. Indeed, one of the most important skills you can teach yourself and to others is mindfulness, the art of being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences as they occur.
Truth be told, mindfulness can provide many important benefits for yourself, your clients, and your life coaching practice. Let’s take a deeper dive into this topic.
The Benefits of Mindfulness for Life Coaches
Life coaches can benefit heavily from practicing mindfulness. In fact, mindfulness could be one of the best skills you can teach yourself. According to studies from the National Institute of Health, mindfulness can help to reduce anxiety and depression, lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, and even help you cope with pain.
But mindfulness can also provide specific benefits to your life coaching business and your professional career. For example:
- Mindfulness grants you increased emotional regulation and self-awareness. That’s great for your personal life, but it will also help you deal with difficult clients and prevent yourself from reacting poorly if a client presents a particular struggle
- Mindfulness helps you focus and maintain presence and peace of mind during coaching sessions. That can help you provide the best advice and guidance possible for your clients
- Mindfulness may reduce stress and burnout. That can happen in any career, so if you’ve found yourself stressed out in previous jobs, practicing mindfulness for life coaching could be a wise idea for long-term professional satisfaction
The Benefits of Mindfulness for Clients
Mindfulness can also provide major benefits for clients. For example, if you teach mindfulness techniques to your clients, they will experience:
- Better emotional regulation and resilience. That can be especially helpful for clients who struggle with emotional control, such as temper, depression, etc.
- Increased self-awareness and self-acceptance. This is similar to the benefits you’ll experience, too. Many of your clients can probably benefit from higher self-acceptance, particularly those struggling with confidence
- Better decision-making and goal achievement results. In many cases, your role as a life coach assisting those in need of professional help involves teaching them how to be mindful to better understand themselves and make better professional decisions
As you can see, every life coach should use mindfulness given the benefits to themselves and clients.
Integrating Mindfulness into Life Coaching
If you want to incorporate mindfulness into your life coaching sessions, there are lots of ways in which you can do that. You can develop many different mindfulness techniques and teach them to clients at their own paces.
While integrating mindfulness into life coaching can be a wise choice, remember that you may need to adapt your practices or techniques for different client populations and demographics, or even specific clients.
Say that you have two different clients at your life coaching business. They could both benefit from mindfulness practice and exercises. But one of your clients is hyper-focused on their career and has difficulty thinking about anything else. Techniques like meditation, basic mindfulness exercises, and reading a book about mindfulness might be perfect for that client.
Your other client is too focused on themselves. In the personal and professional spheres, they repeatedly ignore the needs of other people. While mindfulness can be helpful, you might need to focus more on helping this person recognize and then interrupt negative thought patterns. In such a scenario, a mix of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy advice could be ideal.
Mindfulness-Based Coaching Methods
So, how best should you incorporate mindfulness techniques into your coaching sessions? There are a few different tactics and strategies you can use.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR)
MSBR is a very useful and customizable approach to reducing stress in your clients. Put simply, you teach your client how to practice mindful meditation and yoga.
The mindfulness meditation provides your clients with the tools they need to become more aware of their emotions, thoughts, and how the two combine. Yoga is a physical outlet for stress that can build up within the body. You should consider offering MSBR to clients who see you in person and who struggle with feeling the physical effects of stress and anxiety.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Coaching
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on teaching your client how to accept themselves and commit to changes in their own behavior. For example, say that you have a client who struggles with an addictive behavior that interferes with their work.
You can’t prescribe medication to that client. But you can:
- Walk them through how to accept themselves, flaws and all. You should also explore how self-hate is ultimately unproductive and that they’re worthy of love no matter what
- Show them ways to actually fight their addiction, such as not exposing themselves to the addictive substance, trying new, positive habits, etc.
This type of coaching is perfect for those who have tried other methods to overcome negative habits and have failed so far.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Coaching
Mindful Self-Compassion coaching is highly effective if you have a client who has issues with self-confidence and self-acceptance. It combines the awareness of mindfulness with self-compassion mantras and techniques, building your client’s self-esteem from the ground up.
You should consider incorporating MSC coaching for clients who primarily struggle with feeling good about themselves. For instance, if you meet with a client who feels like they aren’t worthwhile or that they never do a good job, teaching them MSC coaching can help to turn those negative thought patterns around and enable them to pursue their goals with new vigor and self-confidence.
As you can see, mindfulness can enhance your life coaching business from start to finish. When you practice mindfulness, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll also be able to provide better services and guidance for your clients. Teaching your clients mindfulness can also be advantageous for their personal and professional goals.