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5 Reasons You Should Embrace Mindfulness at Work

mindfulness

Meditation in the form of mindfulness is being taken up by the business sector in a big way as it proves to be an effective means of boosting company profits and it can benefit you too.

Feeling stressed or having trouble focussing at work? Meditation practice will help you maintain composure and work through difficult tasks. More and more employers are offering meditation programs to their workforce, because it improves well-being and by virtue their bottom line. After all, a happy and healthy workforce is potentially a more productive workforce. Mindfulness is used as an effective tool in which to better oneself, build leadership skills and achieve business goals.

Harvard Business Review in December 2015 claimed that “mindfulness is quickly following yoga in becoming a billion-dollar industry” – as business executives are bringing meditation coaches into the workplace. Research on mindfulness suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory, and emotional intelligence. It appears that ‘mindfulness’ is no fad, with CEOs everywhere seeing it as an effective technique to garner the full potential of employees. This form of meditation is being hailed as the new key to unlocking employee potential and boosting productivity.

Also read: Use Mindfulness to Conquer the Interview

‘Mindfulness’ refers to a state in which you actively seek to focus yourself on the moment in an attempt to gain perspective of your emotions and thoughts without passing judgement. Ancient eastern practices have been reformulated to address the needs of the corporate world – enhancing your capacity to embrace change and deal with stress.

Here are 5 good reasons why you should bring ‘mindfulness activities’ such as yoga and meditation into your workplace:

  1. Keeps Our Brains Healthy.

Mindfulness supports self-regulation and effective decision- making. Researchers from the University of British Columbia and the Chemnitz University of Technology found that meditators “demonstrate superior performance on tests of self-regulation, resisting distractions and making correct answers more often than non-meditators”. Meditation improves working memory, executive function and some long-term meditators have shown an increased ability to focus on fast changing stimuli.

  1. Builds Emotional Intelligence.

Meditation is valued for its effectiveness in cultivating emotional intelligence, developing patience, empathy, reducing overly emotional responses – all of which amount to a recipe for a successful career. For example, it is being used to help co-workers understand each others motivations. In this way mindfulness is an effective tool you can use to take better care of yourself and treat your colleagues in a more empathic and accepting way.

  1. Reduce stress and builds resilience.

Studies have repeatedly shown that meditation can rewire how the brain reacts to stress. Meditation techniques can reduce anxiety and therefore build our resilience and performance under stress. According to a 2011 study at Harvard, the hippocampus region of the brain showed “significant increases” in grey matter density among people enrolled in an 8-week mindfulness program. As a result you gain an increased ability to manage stress, a key skill in the highly demanding business world. Conversely studies have shown that people who suffer from stress- related disorders tend to have smaller hippocampus.

Also read: 5 Ways Only the Most Resilient People Overcome Defeat

  1. Promotes happiness and good health.

Companies which have introduced mindfulness activities into their workplace have experienced fewer employee absences, lower healthcare costs and higher overall morale. Some studies even claim it makes you less vulnerable to the flu!

  1. Boosts productivity.

Years of research suggest that setting aside time for mindfulness improves concentration, reduces stress and by extension increases your productivity. By taking better care of our minds and bodies we are going to create better companies and outcomes.

Also read: 3 Things You Need to do to Finally Stop Procrastinating

Mindfulness can be done anywhere, sat at your desk or on the subway. It simply requires you to do nothing other than actively take in the present moment and note any feelings or thoughts that wander in the way without frustration or judgment.

Life has never been more frantic, saturated by information technology, mindfulness offers a quiet moment to reflect and refocus. Enjoy.

About the Author

Tatiana Compton is a freelance journalist who has covered accountancy and finance in both the UK and US.