Mindfulness in the Workplace – Focusing the Mind by Staying Present

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mindfulness in the workplace

Mindfulness, apart from being a buzzword, is a solution to a problem which not only the corporate world is facing, but can dramatically positively impact our daily lives. So, let’s see what is the problem we are talking about being mindful. 

WHAT’S IN IT

  1. What is Mindfulness in the Workplace
  2. How to practice Mindfulness
  3. The Benefits of Mindfulness at the workplace
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQ’s

In today’s fast-paced world at times we find ourselves dwelling in the past. Thinking about how you could have said that thing or done that thing. Carrying on the regret with us the whole time even though there is nothing we can do about it or it’s affecting us now in any shape or form.

 “Worried about my future”, now this has become kind of a catchphrase for every other human being. Now I am not saying that one should not think about the future but there is a limit to it.

One thing you will notice is that all this thinking we are doing is at the expense of our present. Now in addition to these two issues the emails, meetings, calls etc has started significantly affecting our productivity.

The scenario is so much so that such a stressful environment has become the new normal. If nothing is done to prevent such an environment then in no time the corporate world would face some serious consequences. 

 The answer to all these problems is only one and that is Mindfulness. Fortunately, the world has recognized this solution, especially the corporate world has incorporated it. 

What is Mindfulness in the Workplace

Mindful focus in the Workplace
Mindful calm bearded young man practices yoga, breathes deeply, enjoys peaceful meditation, keeps eyes closed, wears orange t shirt, isolated on green background. Zen concept. Time for yoga.

 As per the American Psychological Association (APA.org, 2012), Mindfulness is

 “moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait.

To be a multi-tasker in today’s world is viewed as a good trait and up to some extent that might be true, but have you ever evaluated the outcome of the multiple tasks you do. Take an example- 

How to practice Mindfulness

Meditation 

Meditation in Mindfulness
Portrait of calm woman sitting in pose of lotus in natural environment

Most when they hear the word mindfulness relate it to mediation. Moreover, this is quite true up to a certain extent. Like most of the steps, we practice in meditation also involves the basic principle of mindfulness. Just find a quiet and open place, maybe a hall or a park whatever suits you.

Then sit with your legs folded and back straight.  Close your eyes and start exhaling/inhaling. Forget about your past and future, only focus on your breath and present.

Many organizations now have rooms specially allocated to meditate and they organize such activities from time to time There are plenty of beginner-friendly resourceful videos available on the internet. A simple search will get you there

Minimize Multitasking

Contrarily what most believe to be an essential skill set in today’s world I ask you to go in the opposite direction. While multitasking most of you might think that you are being more productive and getting more done, but if you evaluate and measure your performance chances are you’ll find this act to be inefficient.

 When you multitask you’re not doing all these tasks at the same time, actually you “switch” between these tasks. This switch reduces attention and hence rises the chances of mistakes. 

Slow Down

Yes sometimes you gotta slow down so that you can speed up. There are times when things get messy at our workplace. You might also have to take the client’s call, go to a meeting or give a presentation on the same day. This high-pressure situation might disrupt your peaceful state of mind. 

 So, you start panicking and rushing, we all know that most of the time these two things don’t bring any good. So just turn it down a notch and relax.

Stay Consciously Present

In a nutshell, mindfulness is nothing but to be consciously present. At work, keep yourself inattentive mode, listen to the message your leader is conveying to you.

Focus on the task at hand i.e. if you’re on your computer doing some task, try to focus on that task only instead of thinking about what your co-worker said or what you’re going to have for lunch.

 There would be times in a day when you’ll have time to think about such leisure activities. So allocate your focus and attention where it is supposed to be. 

The Benefits of Mindfulness at the workplace

Traditionally most of the work involved mostly the physical strength of the human body, but given the current age of knowledge and information now it’s the brain that has to do most of the work.

You must have noticed that many big corporations have created meditation rooms and from time to time organize such activities to achieve Mindfulness. 

 This has not only benefited the corporation but the employees too. Let’s now have a look at some of the benefits of having mindfulness.

Improved Relationships

Improved Relationships in mindfulness
Cute couple in a city. Lady in a white dress. Pair sitting on a cafe

When employees practise mindfulness they can interact and get along with their coworkers in a much better way. As they are completely present mindfully while interacting with colleagues, they can absorb the ideas shared without much conflict and better understanding.

Enhanced Performance

When you can put more focus on your thought process regarding a particular task it helps you to generate more innovative ideas. You might have seen people taking long breaths before meetings or presentations to calm down and focus on nothing but the task at hand.  

Work Stress

Stress” it’s something which has become a part of everyone’s life. Mostly we relate this word with our jobs. You might have heard this statement “ I have a stressful job” now and then. The issue has become such a threat because to cope up with Stress the employees have started consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol and cigarettes. 

 There are offices which have special smoking rooms also. Furthermore, studies have found out that Mindfulness helps in reducing cortisol (stress hormone). Practising a mindful state we are so focused on the task at hand, that we do not get the time to worry about our past or future or indulge in negative self-talk.

Improve Memory

Mindfulness also helps in improving the short-term or “working memory”. Do you often forget where you kept your keys or maybe you kept it in your pocket and forgot?

This is a normal occurrence nowadays and the reason behind this is that we already have enough going on in our minds that not we do not give enough attention to such a minuscule task. 

 In a recent study conducted between two groups which was the mindfulness group. In the study they found out that people in the mindfulness group, the better people performed on the memory task, the more their hippocampus volume increased, too. 

 Source: Greater Good Magazine (By UC Berkely).

Work-Life Balance

learn to Balance Work Life with mindfulness
3d business men briefcase balance on seesaw

It’s one of the biggest issues today’s with the working population no matter the domain they are working in. This has not only placed a strain on the individual, but it has affected the entire home

 One important aspect of life is our relationship with our loved ones, but when you are not in the right state of mind it’s hard to enjoy quality time.

Having mindfulness greatly helps in coping up with this, as it increases the level of efficiency in your work. Also, it affects a much clearer thought process, simply put “you do not bring your work home”.

Conclusion

Mindfulness is undoubtedly the need of the hour. Apart from the workplace, it helps a person to grow positively on an individual level. The best part is that it’s easy to practice and doesn’t require prior knowledge or some sort of skill. 

Also you can read our blog on Stay Calm During Crises

FAQ‘s

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