Coaching and mindfulness are two distinct things. The first is a process that supports an individual to reach their full potential whereas the latter is an invitation to open to ‘what is’. Despite this difference, coaching and mindfulness can be put hand-in-hand, which is why many health and wellness coaches are exploring ways of incorporating mindfulness into their work with clients.
How do these two distinct concepts intersect and how can mindfulness be used by coaches? Furthermore, what are some ways of using mindfulness scripts for coaches to enhance one’s work with clients?
This comprehensive guide to mindfulness for health coaches will answer the above, exploring:
- What Is Mindful Coaching?
- The Benefits of Mindfulness in Coaching
- 5 Ways to Share Mindfulness As A Health and Wellness Coach
- 7 Mindfulness Scripts for Coaches
- 4 Tips for Using Mindfulness Scripts for Coaches
What Is Mindful Coaching?
Mindfulness is about paying attention to our present moment experience with non-judgment. It invites us to remain open and accepting of things as they are, even if our current experience is not as we might desire it to be.
On the other hand, as defined by the International Coaching Federation, coaching is:
“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Put in this way, mindfulness and coaching are two distinct processes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to offer the other. In fact, when mindfully brought together, mindfulness can facilitate the coaching process in meaningful and authentic ways. In addition, coaching can help us to work with anything we are mindful of that is not in alignment with how we wish to live. When these two processes meet, we might call it mindful coaching.
Mindful coaching is a bit of a paradox. How can we be accepting of things as they are while also working towards our higher potential? While mindfulness is about turning towards our current experience with acceptance, it does not require us to forgo or deny change. When we practice mindfulness with compassion and curiosity, we uncover the deepest yearnings of mind, heart, body, and spirit. These deeper insights can inspire our path forward, which is where the coaching process can come in to assist us.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
The Benefits of Mindfulness in Coaching
Once the concept of weaving mindfulness together with coaching is understood, one still might wonder:
Why should I bring mindfulness into my coaching practice?
To maximize the potential in our work with clients, mindfulness should not be overlooked. Blending the two can positively impact the wellbeing of those we work with. For example, mindful coaching can:
- Enable the client to broaden their perspective
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase self-awareness and thoughtful reflection
- Improve management of emotions
- Balance ‘doing’ with ‘being’
- Reduce mental hi-jacking
- Promote positive mindset shifts
In addition, mindfulness gives us a solid ground to evolve from. By helping a client to sit with their experience as it is, they discover a sense of inner strength and stability. Mindfulness empowers individuals to weather the storms of life and to forge ahead with increased courage, honesty, and insight.
There are no failures. Just experiences and your reactions to them.
– Tom Krause-
5 Ways to Share Mindfulness As A Health and Wellness Coach
There are a variety of different ways you might incorporate mindfulness into your work with clients. For example, the following is an outline of five different ways you can weave mindfulness into the work that you do with your clients. For support with any of these, you might consider using mindfulness scripts for coaches and healthcare professionals.
Lead a grounding meditation to begin the session.
When you begin a session with a client, consider starting with a grounding mindfulness practice. This can help both you and your client to fully arrive – not just physically but mentally. An introductory grounding session may help to increase client awareness, openness, and honesty.
Encourage mindfulness of emotions when they arise.
You can also encourage mindfulness when difficult emotions arise. Mindful coaching can make us aware of challenging thoughts and feelings, such as fear and shame. When these types of feelings arise, help your client to observe what is happening with patience, compassion, and non-judgment.
Encourage curiosity and openness
Additionally, you can support your client to broaden their awareness of their experience by encouraging curiosity. Many people view their challenges, for instance, through a narrow and often judgmental lens. But what might happen for your client if they increase curiosity towards their thought patterns and habits? What deeper insights might be waiting to arise?
Lead practices for stress reduction.
When we are stressed, it is more difficult to make meaningful change than when we are in a resting state. This is in part because stress inhibits self-awareness and activates our tendency to act on impulse. When our stress response is switched off, we think more clearly. Therefore, by leading a stress reduction meditation when appropriate, we can help our clients to become more mindfully aware of their thoughts and actions.
Offer your client mindful take-home tools.
Furthermore, you can teach mindfulness to your clients by offering them simple practices to use beyond your sessions together. This can empower them to continue thinking clearly, observing compassionately, and acting insightfully. For instance, you might share a short guided breathing meditation that can help them to refocus and reground anytime they need to.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
– Neale Donald Walsh-
Learn more about how you can certify to teach mindfulness.
7 Mindfulness Scripts for Coaches
To enhance the meaningful work that you are already doing, consider the following mindfulness scripts for coaches. These scripts can be read directly or modified as suits your authentic voice and the needs of your client. For take-home tools to share with your clients, you might consider the use of mindfulness worksheets.
Giving Yourself Compassion For A Difficult situation
People turn to coaching due to some type of difficulty that they are experiencing. By helping your client to view their challenges from a place of compassion, you help them to cultivate a positive and loving mindset that will support their most authentic goals.
Focusing Your Attention Using Breath
This script outlines a simple breathing meditation that can be used to ground at the beginning of a session or to refocus. It is a great way to ease a scattered mind and create inner space for the coaching process to follow.
Recognizing What You Need
During times of difficulty, it is helpful to tune into what is most needed – things like compassion, insight, and understanding. This script can support your client to recognize their deeper needs and to provide it to themselves from within.
Grounding Body Scan
Another beneficial practice for many people is the body scan as it helps us to move away from the thinking mind and into the body. This grounding body scan is another option for helping your client to settle in at the beginning of a session.
Focusing On Positive Moments Throughout the Day
To help establish a positive mindset, you might encourage your client to be on the lookout for all that is good in their lives. This is not about denying our challenges; rather, it is a way of opening to the beauty and goodness that exists alongside whatever it is we are wishing to change.
Giving Yourself Compassion for Failures and Mistakes
If you have a client that struggles with perfectionism, this script might be supportive for your work together. Offering ourselves compassion for the fullness of our humanity (imperfections included) can increase self-acceptance and reduce harsh criticism.
Furthermore, this deep breathing practice is an exercise you can lead with clients to reduce their stress levels. It is also a tool that clients can practice on their own. Deep belly breathing decreases activity in the sympathetic nervous system (our stress response) and increases parasympathetic nervous system activity (our resting state).
Growing Happiness in the Mind
Lastly, this guided meditation script is a practice for helping your clients to cultivate appreciative joy. An attitude of gratitude, as cultivated through this practice, will support your clients to continue growing in beautiful, inspiring, and positive ways.
Instantly download 200 meditation scripts.
4 Tips for Using Mindfulness Scripts for Coaches
If you are a health and wellness coach looking to use mindfulness scripts in your work with clients, read through the following tips to begin. While there are new rules as to how you can use meditation scripts, there are ways of doing so that will enhance both your own comfort and the comfort of your client.
- Familiarize yourself with any chosen script before leading a client through the practice. Read through it a number of times making modifications as you need to. This will help you to read the script with a more natural, soothing tone of voice, creating ease for both you and your client.
- Meet your client where they are at, starting with simple mindfulness techniques if they are not already familiar with the practice. Note that while mindfulness is generally supportive of wellbeing, it can stir trauma in some people and on some occasions. Familiarize yourself with various techniques of trauma-sensitive mindfulness.
- Be flexible, remembering that you are allowed to go off-script. Remain open to subtle cues from your client, making adjustments to the direction or pace of the meditation as necessary.
- If mindfulness is not an existing part of your coaching practice, communicate this new addition to your existing clients before leading a meditation. Some people will be more open to formal mindfulness practice than others. Ensure that nothing comes as a surprise and that a given client is ready and willing to dive into this type of work.