Everybody seems to be doing mindfulness nowadays. Huge firms such as Google and prominent universities like Harvard are implementing mindfulness. In simple words, mindfulness means awareness. The practice of mindfulness offers a way to pay attention to what is happening at this moment, without judging or over worrying.
The actual working culture presents stress as a badge of honor, asking employees to do more with fewer resources, increasing workloads and working hours. According to Mark Williams, psychology professor at the University of Oxford, this culture is counterproductive. He expresses that: “We can spend so much time rushing from one task to another. We may think we’re working more efficiently, but as far as the brain is concerned, we are working against the grain. No wonder we get exhausted.”
Mindfulness contributes to our ability to manage conflict and communicate more effectively, as it increases emotional intelligence in particular: empathy and self-regulation. Mindfulness helps us to keep control over our emotions, allowing us to choose appropriate responses to any event, rather than simply reacting to it.
While introducing mindfulness to the workspace will not prevent conflicts or difficult issues from arising, it will help the group to acknowledge, held and respond to those situations with more ease.
According to experts, the regular practice of mindfulness might increase the brain’s ability to repair itself and grow new neural connections.
Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety, increase resilience and emotional intelligence (as mentioned before), while improving communication in the work space.
It is important to acknowledge that practice and consistency are very important to get the benefits of mindfulness. And remember that your working space should be adapted to you and not the other way around.
Bonus: If you were wondering whether you are mindful or not, consider the following. In the last week have you found yourself:
• With no recollection of your daily commute?
• Eating at your desk without tasting your food?
• Paying more attention to your iPhone than to your nearest and dearest?
• Dwelling on past events or dreading what the future holds?
• Are you skim reading this article?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably zoning out and spending at least some time on autopilot. It would be good to practice mindfulness.