People everywhere are feeling a lot of distress and mental pressure due to the present situation owing to the pandemic. Globally, workforces across the industries are feeling the brunt of the restrictions and the numerous changes they had to make to adapt to the ever-evolving circumstances. This has led to an increase in mental health problems such as depression, demotivation, stress, the feeling of loneliness, and more. Although the lifting of restrictions has helped to reduce the scale of the problem, it is still rampant in workplaces. A way to deal with it is by practising mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being purposeful and present in your mind and workspace. It is a situation where a person is aware of how to accurately triage and analyse circumstances by creating an amount of thoughtful distance between themselves and the current situation. However, it is not intentional. Rather, it is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at any time and place importance on certain things without being carried away by it. Practising mindfulness at home or in the workplace makes you a better version of yourself.
Mindfulness creates a greater awareness of how you connect to others, to the community, and even to future generations. It is a great way to practice thinking beyond your needs. It helps you see the bigger picture and make decisions that benefit the whole organisation/society and not just yourself.
How to practice mindfulness?
That brings us to the most important question – how to start practising mindfulness. Most people start practising mindfulness by starting a meditation. The best way is to start with deep breathing that relaxes your body and mind. Once relaxed, they focus on one thing – it could be anything; a colour, an object, or anything you like. The important thing to remember is not to worry if your mind wanders off to other things. As soon as you are aware of your mind wandering, bring your focus back to the object of your choice.
Soon you’ll master the art of focusing. After some time, it becomes a habit that you can focus on one thing without going into a meditative state. It becomes your second nature. When you practice regularly, you’ll realise the difference in your ability to focus and adequately analyse the best way to tackle problems. Your workplace becomes an extension of it all you’ll find it easy to carry out your duties more efficiently and effectively.
Why should you bring mindfulness to the workplace?
Mindfulness in the workplace is a great way to adapt to changing scenarios. We are transforming from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy. While in the manufacturing economy the body was the vital cog in production, in a knowledge economy, the brain is the key element.
If you, as a manager, are unable to focus on the task at hand, you’ll not be able to manage the people under you. Clarity of thought and a broader vision, along with an understanding of the other person are key to a manager’s success. If the manager is constantly worried about the future, and cannot let go of the past, then managing the present become impossible. Practising mindfulness will eliminate distractions and help the manager to focus on what is important and make the best decisions based on the bigger picture.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is a great way to relax and let your mind free. It teaches you to let go of the unimportant and to focus on the important things. Also, whenever the mind wanders, it is possible to bring it back to the present. Meditation is a great way to cure anxiety and other stress. When you focus on your breathing you naturally become aware of every breath. By controlling your breathing, you can control your anxiety and rejuvenate yourself. Regular meditation reduces your stress levels and makes you sharper too. It is a great way to lighten your mind.
Practical Tips to practice Mindfulness in the Workplace
The secret to mindfulness is focusing your attention on the present. You are training your brain to focus on the now. Here are a few tips to practice mindfulness at work:
Pay attention – Normally we don’t slow down and notice things around us. To practice mindfulness, you should slow down and take time to experience your surroundings with all your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste.
Live in the moment – Mindfulness is about living in the present. Don’t worry about the future or cry about the past. Try to find happiness in doing even the small tasks. Be open, accepting, and discerning in everything you do.
Accept your pace – A great step toward practising mindfulness is accepting the pace at which you approach your work. Don’t be hard on yourself if you make a mistake. Give yourself the same leeway as you would give to a good friend.
Focus on your breathing – Breathing is key to everything. If you are troubled by negative thoughts, find a quiet corner, sit down, take a few deep breaths, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath and observe the rhythm. Be aware of your inhaling and exhaling –if you sit and observe your breathing even for a minute, it can help you a lot.
As you can see, mindfulness helps people to be more aware of the present and their surroundings. The easiest way is to start by observing your breathing. Slowly, you can build focus and better awareness. It, in turn, increases productivity, creativity, patience, and understanding. Eventually, it would result in a better work atmosphere.