With some of the world’s largest businesses encouraging their staff to practice mindfulness, it seems our workplaces are beginning to appreciate that happy minds make for happy businesses.
But what does mindfulness actually mean? And how can you add it into your routine, to support your work, and equally support your life?
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the process of focusing your attention on experiences happening in the present moment. Put simply, mindfulness is about being present, aware, and observant, without any distractions.
While it may sound easy to achieve, regularly taking a mindful approach at work can be difficult. With long to-do lists, an inbox full of unread emails, and meetings booked across lunchtimes, our minds can sometimes wonder from the present moment.
What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness at work?
Mindfulness has been trialled by numerous scientific studies, with a range of benefits being found for business leaders all the way through to staff members.
It’s why mindfulness is being encouraged by leading organisations around the world - businesses such as Adobe, Facebook, and Google are putting on mindfulness schemes, while the NHS and Transport for London are inviting their staff to take up meditation.
Here are the four scientifically-backed benefits of encouraging mindfulness at work:
1. Reduction in procrastination
A recent study found that practicing mindfulness leads to a reduction in procrastination, across work, study, and life. In a way, this makes sense: with more focus on the present, we tend to get tasks done, rather than spend time avoiding them.
Interestingly, the study also found that individuals who procrastinated a lot tended to be less mindful of their actions.
2. Increase in emotional intelligence
In a feature on mindfulness, The Guardian highlighted that mindfulness increases emotional intelligence. With a higher level of attention being paid to the people around you, it’s natural to empathise more. It was said that empathy and self regulation are two specific areas that were increased.
3. Better resolution of workplace conflicts
As a bi-product of higher emotional intelligence, mindfulness can help us to resolve workplace conflicts in a better and more fulfilling way.
By being more connected to others, when disagreements happen, each party can see how the other is feeling, and work to improve their situation while finding a resolution. The practice of being more aware can generally make us more observant too, and enabling us to learn from similar situations and prevent them from happening in the future.
4. Improved awareness of opportunities
And finally, mindfulness can lead to better business opportunities! Whether that’s a new freelance job, a step up the career ladder, or a new product for your business, the practice of being totally focused in the present moment can enable us to take a step back and consider alternative perspectives, and get involved with what is happening around us, rather than watching opportunities go by.
Start practicing mindfulness with Calmer
If you’d like to introduce mindfulness in your workplace, have a look through our Calmer Workplace Pack and see how we can support you today.
If you’re thinking about taking up mindfulness as an individual, we invite you to:
Join The Calmer Community, our membership platform providing meditation practices, breathing techniques, mentor calls and new content drops each month
Join The Reignite Project, our free e-course tackling stress and burnout
Watch The Calmer Entrepreneur, our training video series that will enable you to better manage your time, stress, and mental resilience