If you’ve spent any portion of your life adulting, you’d probably agree that work can be stressful. Practicing mindfulness in the workplace can alleviate stress that takes a toll not only on your work but also on your health and relationships.
Here are some sobering facts:
- 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress.
- 7 in 10 adults say that workplace stress affects their personal relationships.
- 63% of workers are ready to quit their job due to stress.
These numbers aren’t encouraging. But you don’t have to become another statistic. You can manage stress easily by practicing mindfulness in the workplace.
What Is Mindfulness In The Workplace?
Here’s how expert Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness :
‘It is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.’
Okay, that was a mouthful. But every word in that sentence is important, and no other sentence captures the essence of mindfulness so beautifully.
Let’s do a quick exercise to understand what the sentence means.
As you’re reading this, pay attention to what’s going on around you now. Hear the sounds, see the sights, smell the scents. Don’t think, judge, and analyze; just be aware of the experiences unfolding in your perception.
Were you able to do that simple exercise? Then congrats! You don’t need to shave your head and go to the mountains; you’ve just accomplished a little bit of mindfulness.
Companies that promote mindfulness see radical improvements in output. And there’s strong evidence to back this up.
In 2012, Intel started a mindfulness training program for its employees. The program was a massive success – employees reported a two-point decrease (on a scale of 1-10) in stress and a three-point increase in overall happiness and well-being.
Not only that, these employees found that their creativity, mental clarity, workplace relationships, focus, and teamwork all dramatically improved.
What is The Importance of Mindfulness In The Workplace?
Mindfulness can drastically improve employee performance and well-being. It’s like a free drug that doesn’t have any side effects.
Want to improve your persistence and determination? Mindfulness has got your back.
What to decrease unwanted thoughts from intruding? Mindfulness is essential.
Want to have an improved working memory? Mindfulness is key.
Let’s look at some more benefits of mindfulness in a little more detail.
- Improved Social Relationships: If you practice mindfulness, you’ll experience more emotional awareness, increased empathy, perspective-taking, and communication. A research study showed that mindfulness made people more helpful and generous at work. They became more pleasant, smoother, and cooperative with their co-workers.
- Improved Performance: Mindfulness is a game-changer when it comes to increasing performance. It can enhance your intuition and promote better decision-making, especially when the going gets tough. It also makes you a little less dumb by decreasing cognitive failures due to distraction and blunders. Improved focus and working memory capacity are some additional perks you will experience, making you more capable and efficient in the office.
- Improved Motivation and Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Sometimes work can get boring, and trying to keep your motivation levels from falling can seem impossible. Luckily, mindfulness is an easy way to gain motivation and feel interested and engaged at work. According to a study involving 64 participants, it was shown that even in emotionally draining work roles, mindfulness promoted job satisfaction and prevented burnout from emotional exhaustion.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Bring Mindfulness In The Workplace?
You can bring mindfulness in the workplace by taking time to pause throughout the day, remembering to breathe deeply from time to time, and noticing and appreciating the little things around you.
What is Mindfulness Training In The Workplace?
Mindfulness training in the workplace teaches the practice of mindfulness to employees of a company. Some of the benefits are improved well-being and resilience for the staff, increased productivity, improved leadership, and better decision-making.
How Can I Apply Mindfulness In The Workplace?
Applying mindfulness in the workplace is easy, and it doesn’t require you to start a formal meditation practice (though that can help). As long as you put in the commitment, you will see benefits in the next couple of days.
Here’s how you to apply mindfulness to enhance your work life:
Be Present. You have likely come across the term ‘be present’. But what exactly does this mean?
Right now, in this moment, notice the sounds around you. Do that for 20 seconds.
Once you’ve done that, notice your breathing for another 20 seconds. Then pay attention to the items, objects, and people in your visual field. What you experienced now is presence. You were able to be present.
Now, it’s okay if your mind wanders from time to time. It happens to everyone (except for the Buddha probably. The dude was something else).
When you’ve realized you’ve drifted off into thought-land, gently acknowledge you’ve been thinking, and get back to being aware. And if you drift again, no problem, once again acknowledge you’ve been dreaming and come back to the present moment.
By doing the above exercise every hour, you can dramatically better your life at work.
Slow Down. You don’t need to work at breakneck speed without taking a breather.
Pause. Feel your feet on the ground. Inhale and take a deep breath.
Taking mini-breaks from work may feel like it may decrease productivity, but think of it like sleep. Does sleep decrease productivity? No! You’re more productive because of it.
The same principle applies here. Slowing down prevents burnout and fatigue, so take micro-rests, recuperate, and conquer your day.
Gratitude. Feel gratitude for the work you just completed. This will not only improve your well-being but also make you more motivated to work harder, as you’ve acknowledged and recognized the fruits of your labor.
You may also read about 3 Ways To Get Things Done Through Mindfulness.