Can practicing mindfulness make you better at your job?
When’s the last time you took a moment to just be? A moment to truly feel present and recognize only your immediate surroundings, thoughts, and feelings? For many of us, the tugging responsibilities of raising a family, building a career, and maintaining a healthy social life can make it difficult to disconnect, even for a second. But the benefits of mindfulness, the practice of being present and aware, are too important to brush aside.
Why mindfulness in the workplace matters
Regardless of whether you work in a factory or a field, a studio or a stadium, your job is probably full of distractions. Being mindful can help you cut through the chaos and work more efficiently in the following ways:
- Stress management — There’s a reason we’re advised to stop and take a breath when things get a little crazy: focusing on our breathing lowers our heart rate and delivers oxygen to our brain, which helps us calm down so we can think more clearly.
- Physical health benefits — Stress is directly related to many health issues, including high blood pressure, digestive problems, and muscle pain. Using mindfulness to combat stress also effectively alleviates these physical symptoms.
- Mental health benefits — It should come as no surprise that practicing mindfulness can enhance cognitive function, too. Specifically, it’s known to improve memory and stave off conditions like depression and anxiety.
- Better communication — Mindfulness can enhance our ability to empathize with others, and in turn make us more understanding and patient.
- Improved relationships — This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. As we begin to communicate more effectively, we have fewer arguments and misunderstandings. This allows us to connect more deeply with our colleagues and build stronger relationships.
- Heightened engagement — When we get along well with coworkers, we tend to be happier in our roles, which generally makes us more productive and gives us a sense of fulfillment.
How you can become more mindful at work
Different people practice mindfulness in different ways, so it’s up to you to figure out what’s ideal for you. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Tidy up your workspace and, if possible, be intentional about the items that surround you.
- Steer clear of distractions by carving out specific times to check email, respond to voice messages, etc.
- Avoid multitasking. Rather, concentrate on doing one thing really well before moving on to your next task.
- Try not to rush through projects, but instead complete them with care.
- Actively listen to others when they’re speaking.
- Be grateful for something specific, like the warm sunshine streaming through the window or the colleague who always makes you laugh.
- Set an intention to focus your day on a single goal.
Bring the benefits of mindfulness to your employees
Employee well-being is our number one priority at LifeSpeak. That’s why we’ve developed a robust digital platform full of 1500+ videos, podcasts, and tip sheets designed to help your staff address life issues that might be affecting their work performance. Our experts cover a variety of topics, including relationship advice, financial stability, parenting tips, and of course, physical and mental health. To learn more about how we can assist your employees, book a free demo today.
Also published on Medium.