Mindfulness is no longer just a term reserved for a selected few. Big corporate houses like General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Google, Apple, and Nike have understood its benefits are using mindfulness training as a development and well-being tool for its employees.
Practising mindfulness has been very well linked to reduction of stress and anxiety at workplace, improved conflict management skills and an increase in resilience, empathy and communication, aside many of its other benefits.
Before we explore its benefits further, let us first understand what it means to be mindful.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means to be fully present in a moment by being in complete awareness of our five senses, without any judgement. It is to know what is going around us, at the level of our mind, body and emotions, without getting overwhelmed or reacting to them.
As per scientific researchers, mindfulness meditation allows us to activate the smarter part of our brains which allow us to consider other alternatives and take appropriate decisions before we react to any situation.
Are you mindful?
Our hectic lives and demanding work schedules along with the advancements made in technology often drag us away from being mindful. For the same reason, most of us run on an auto-pilot mode and do not put much mind and heart into the things that we do.
Want to know if you are mindful or in an auto-pilot mode? Answer these questions-
- Do you keep revisiting your past events?
- Can you recollect the last conversation you had with a colleague?
- What did you eat for your last meal?
- Did your teammates appear happy today?
- Do you pay more attention to your phone then a live gathering?
A mindful person will always dwell in the present and pay attention to the dally details of life.
Who can benefit from mindfulness?
While everyone can benefit from practising mindfulness, I am listing down a few categories that can benefit the most from it.
- People working in a stressful work-setting such as hospitals, hotels, fire departments, etc.
- Those working amidst strict deadlines
- Ones required to switch between projects and job roles very frequently
- Those in constant need to observe new information
- Employees who need to keep shifting their priorities and adapt to the new workplace demands
- Creative and analytical minds
- Team and organisational leaders
Benefits of being mindful
Mindfulness, as we discussed, is the practice to pull us to the present moment time and again. This requires us to take a break from our work several times a day and concentrate on the moment. Doing this creates an empty space in our head which boosts our problem-solving, creative thinking and analytical capabilities. By removing all distractions, we give our brain an opportunity to absorb new information and upgrade our skills and learning. As we de-clutter our brain, we also reduce our stress and anxieties.
Mindfulness is also a great tool to stop reacting and start responding to any situation. Being non-judgemental allows us to observe and analyse a situation before jumping to any conclusion. This proves very useful while managing a conflict, enabling leaders to find a better way to settle it.
Being mindful is now being considered as an essential trait for leaders as it makes them more flexible, empathetic and self-regulated, thus helping them to work better with their team. On the other hand, employees who practice mindfulness are more determined, persistent, effective and accurate and show improved memory which ensures their overall well-being and enhances their performance.
Most effective ways to practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is not something that we need to learn. It is an inborn quality that we possess as human beings. Here are some of the best ways to practice it in life and at work-
- Set aside some moments every day
Mindfulness is about being in awareness of your surroundings, thoughts, emotions and actions. To do this, you must set aside some time everyday from your busy schedule and sit in a quiet place.
- Stop being judgemental
Judgements take you away from the moment. Always view your thoughts and emotions from the eyes of a third party.
- Never control your mind
The idea is to just sit back and observe how you are feeling at this moment and what is going on in your mind. Your thoughts will disappear and then reappear. It will happen time and again. Don’t interrupt. Just let them flow. Each time, just re-adjust your focus and return back to the present moment.
- Practice it daily
Mindfulness will not happen at once. Make it a part of your lifestyle and enjoy the incremental benefits that accrue.
To initiate a mindfulness meditation, connect with me at _____________
Being mindful at workplace has been deeply associated with reducing stress, anxieties and conflicts at workplace. Here are the most effective ways to practice mindfulness and reap its benefits.