5 Benefits of Mindfulness in the Workplace
“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Regardless of what job you have, it’s likely that you have experienced feeling stressed, overwhelmed, scattered, and unmotivated at work. Whether you are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance, are overloaded with tasks to complete, or feel stress to meet certain guidelines, your productivity at work can be affected. However, there are some simple practices you can do to stay focused, remain relaxed, and be more productive.
Mindfulness, in particular, can reprogram the mind to be more motivated and think clearly. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present of where you are, what you are doing, and what is happening around you without becoming reactive, anxious, or overwhelmed. Numerous studies have proved that applying mindfulness to the workplace directly improves employee performance. Mindful meditation is a simple, free practice that you can do anywhere, any time. With guided mindful meditations readily available online and on popular phone applications, mindfulness is constantly at your disposal. Here are 5 benefits of mindfulness in the workplace.
1. Mindfulness builds self-confidence
Most people have something they are self-conscious about. Whether it be intellect, body image, or skills, everyone has something about themselves that they doubt. Unfortunately, these self-doubts can stop you from performing at an optimal level at work. If your self-esteem is causing you problems at work or is playing a role in your performance, mindfulness is something you should implement in your daily life.
Studies have shown that mindful meditation can help improve self-compassion and diminish body dissatisfaction. When you are given a task at work that you feel as though you cannot complete to your boss’s satisfaction, take some time to practice mindfulness. This can help you gather your thoughts, be more organized, and carry out tasks more effectively. When you begin to see these positive results, your self-confidence will increase and you will perform even better at work. If you are constantly doubting your abilities, give mindful meditation a shot.
2. Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety
When you feel stressed or anxious, your body’s natural response is to go into fight-or-flight mode. However, when you are mindful, you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Mindful meditation shifts a person’s ability to regulate their emotions and process these emotions differently in the brain. As a result, when a person feels stressed or anxious but is mindful of the fact, they can shift their focus to something that will alleviate their stress and anxiety.
A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine explains that mindfulness programs in workplaces can decrease employee stress, therefore building resiliency and vigor when it comes to tasks at work. Many mindful meditation techniques involve deep breathing exercises which are extremely relaxing. If you are feeling stressed or anxious throughout the workday, take some time to do a guided mindful meditation. You may find that your thoughts slow down, your shoulders become relaxed, and the tension in your body is released.
3. Mindfulness promotes creativity
Whether you are a graphic designer, a business executive, a salesperson, or a computer technician, most jobs require some level of creativity and innovation. Fortunately, mindfulness meditation is proven to enhance creative and innovative thinking.
Meditation helps promote open-mindedness, which makes it easier to come up with new ideas. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is thought to increase courage and resilience in the face of difficult times or skepticism. When you are afraid of failure, it is difficult to develop new ideas and try new things. However, when you have higher self-esteem, are more open-minded, and have improved focus, you open the gates of creativity and innovation. Whether you have to come up with a sales pitch, problem-solve, or design a product, mindfulness can help you create something new and innovative by letting your creative juices flow.
4. Mindfulness improves interpersonal communication skills
Several studies have found that mindfulness promotes empathy and compassion. In addition, mindfulness helps people be fully present. When you combine being present with yourself and empathy or compassion, you cultivate a condition of openness, calmness, and acceptance towards yourself and others. As a result, mindfulness can pave the way for better communication skills among employees.
Mindfulness helps you focus and pay attention, so when you are talking to others, you can be fully present in the conversation. When you eliminate distractions and judgment from a conversation, you and your co-workers can communicate better, problem-solve, and avoid arguments and disagreements. Most jobs require some kind of interpersonal communication, and without it, many businesses may struggle to meet their goals and keep employee cooperation at it’s finest. If you need to improve your communication skills, mindfulness can help.
5. Mindfulness enhances overall mood and well-being
Being mindful increases your self-awareness and brings light to things you can do to improve your mood and well-being. When you practice mindfulness on a regular basis, you will become more engaged in the present moment and worry less about the past or the future. Furthermore, with less stress, anxiety, and worry in your life, you will have a better-regulated mood and a clearer head. Day to day tasks will be easier, communication will be smoother, and you will likely find that you are happier and more efficient at work.
Evidence suggests that mindfulness causes changes in the brain, such as improving the connectivity of certain areas of the brain and changing the tissue density in certain regions. These changes help regulate the mood as mindfulness encourages people to pay attention to sensations and feelings rather than thoughts. Thoughts can be intrusive, leading to bad moods and low self-esteem. However, mindfulness pulls the consciousness away from these thoughts, therefore improving mood and well-being. Regardless of your occupation, starting your day with mindful meditation and practicing mindfulness throughout the day can help improve your performance, mood, and work-life in general.
Guest Writer Bio
Hailey Parks is a health and wellness advocate who works with Executive Medicine of Texas. She has a B.S. in Health Sciences, is a freelance writer, and proud Texas native.