How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Performance at WorkAzia Weisz
If there’s one thing the last few years has taught us it is that we’re living in stressful times. More people than ever are suffering from anxiety or stress-related problems and are seeking help from family, friends and professional services to help deal with these issues. Is mindfulness the answer?
Many people who suffer from anxiety or stress are recommended by medical professionals to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a technique not too dissimilar from meditation, and focuses on slowing down the breathing and bringing oneself into the present moment. This technique enables people to empty their mind of worries, stresses and feelings of anxiety, and effectively gives relief from the baggage that day to day life can force us to carry.
Be Mindful at work
Of the people who suffer from stress and anxiety, large proportions are people who work in high powered and demanding jobs. Many of us take on far too much at work, and often aren’t aware of the toll it can take on you mentally. Life can be so fast paced that you don’t notice that work can sometimes become your life, you think about it when you’re there, and even when you’re not there. And this is why many businesses all over the world are introducing mindfulness to their employees. Allowing staff members to breathe and reboot during the day, and take time to focus on some self-care enables them to be happier and healthier people, and it is only when people are happy and healthy that they can perform at their best.
Mindfulness has actually proven to be extremely effective at improving people’s performance at work, allowing them to regain more control of their thoughts and emotions, helping them to relax and boosting their confidence all round. It is a period of the day that gives everybody the sensation of being trouble and problem free which can really give perspective over what is and isn’t worth feeling stressed over.
Focus your attention
Mindfulness actually works to train your attention. The point is to try and focus on the present moment and nothing else, and this in itself is you learning to harness your attention. If you can control your attention span, and learn to block out distractions and anything else that tries to seep into your brain whilst you’re practicing mindfulness, then the same method can be applied to your work. Your focus as a whole will be improved, and when it comes to the workplace that can help reduce stress, and allow you to organise yourself and your thoughts and reduce stress.
Become a better co-worker
Many employees who practice mindfulness have spoken of having a more positive effect on their co-workers as employees pick up on each other’s vibes at work. We’ve all worked with that one co-worker who is rushing through the building in a mad panic trying to get everything finished because they are feeling stressed. That behavior rubs off on others and in turn your stress and anxiety levels rise. It stands to reason that if you work with a person who is calm and in control of their workload that you too are influenced to calm it down and become more grounded.
Mindfulness can also encourage you to become a better listener and pick up on others needs around you. Perhaps a colleague is discussing a project with you or even asking you personally for advice, but you have your own internal dialogue going on in your head. Are you really present and listening to that person? You could be missing important details about one of your workloads or fail to advise somebody correctly on something they have put trust in you for. How successful and effective you are in work depends on your ability to focus and by promoting and practicing mindfulness in the workplace, you improve your skills and abilities every day.
Can I practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be practiced by anybody, anywhere and there is no right or wrong way to feel when you’re practicing mindfulness. It can take time to learn how to focus your mind solely on the present moment, and at first it can seem tricky, if not entirely impossible to clear your head of thoughts. But the best way to do so is focus on one sound that you can hear, and focus only on that. Concentrate on every tiny detail, how the sound travels into your ears, the rhythm of your body as you breathe in and out, and eventually you will be able to bring yourself right into the moment.