It's All About The Mind
Mindfulness, the meditation practice of concentrating on the self and the current moment, has been practiced for some time. Now it’s finding its way into business with companies embracing the importance of supporting mental health in the work place.
Mindfulness, what is it all about and what are the benefits?
Work is one of the most common sources of stress for many and a good proportion of those who are stressed attribute it to concentrating on what work is coming next, while unpicking what has gone before, rather than paying full attention to the moment and the current task. Mindfulness brings the attention back to the present moment and aims to improve mental wellbeing by helping us to enjoy the world around us and understand ourselves better.
Most people who work in an office also work ‘on the go’ as well as at their desks. Anybody who has any sort of mobile, computer or tablet device is most likely contactable by email 24/7. Over a significant period of time, day in and day out, this can be quite exhausting and that is where mindfulness comes in.
Celebrating and embracing each moment of life, mindfulness provides a source of relief away from the ‘always on’ culture. It is the antithesis of constant communications and the technology that enables us to always be available and in the mindset of work. It allows us to reduce stress and to achieve an emotional balance while improving the overall quality of working life. It can work for the greater good and not just the individual, which is why it is proving such a good fit for business.
The benefits of mindfulness which are most relevant to businesses, of course, are productivity. The practice of mindfulness has been proven to increase employee productivity by generally making the employee happier and healthier and giving an effective tool to manage stress. By taking what has been referred to as ‘purposeful pauses’ throughout the day, we are able to take ourselves out of the noise and make conscious and more thoughtful decisions.
In its own way, mindfulness is promoting a form of best practice all around. The considered approach should improve general communications as workers practicing mindfulness will be more likely to pause to consider how to improve communications with colleagues and associates and better approach tricky situations. Greater tolerance between workers in the office is destined to lead to a more harmonious working environment. This impacts on far more than productivity. A happier office equates to happier workers who are less likely to take unnecessary leaves of absence and who will also be less inclined to move on.
The design of your office can promote the practice of mindfulness during the working day by including quiet areas where employees are able to take a short timeout to bring themselves back to the moment and refocus on their day ahead.
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