Should you embrace Mindfulness? Short answer – YES! More detailed answer below…
Meditation and Mindfulness are very trendy right now. Because of this, some people dismiss the concepts as simply fads which will soon pass. However, they are built on centuries of solid practice and research into their benefits. I recently completed a Diploma in Mindfulness as I’ve been practising it for a few years now and wanted to know a bit more of the background, its benefits and how to integrate it into all aspects of life. Here I explain how being mindful will help you at work.
More Focus – the three main concepts of Mindfulness are having awareness, being present, and not being judgmental. Someone who is present in the moment can focus much better as they are not distracted by other thoughts, concerns about the future, or worrying about something in the past. Through this, your productivity will sky-rocket meaning you will impress those around you and feel a much greater sense of achievement – ticking more off your ‘To Do’ list which always feel amazing!
Better Listening – have you ever done this: been in a conversation with someone and are half listening to what they’re saying, but also half thinking about what you’re going to say next? I think most people would admit to this. Most would also say they’ve been on the receiving end of this where they are talking to someone but know that person isn’t really listening. With less distractions, Mindfulness teaches ‘active listening’ where you are fully present with what someone is saying. Not only does this make you much more likely to really hear what the person is saying and therefore act upon it with the best outcomes, it also creates a greater sense of respect between you and them, instilling a stronger work environment.
Less Stress – this is a biggie, everyone wants to reduce their stress. Most stress comes from ourselves – sometimes we are our own worst enemy. For example, you have a meeting tomorrow and you’re worried it might go wrong. Your mind starts thinking about worst-case scenarios, making you feel even worse so you don’t sleep very well, meaning you feel extremely anxious and stressed by the time it comes to the meeting. More often than not, the meeting will go better than you imagined and all of that stress was for nothing. Wasted energy. Mindfulness teaches you to let go of anything in the past and future and focus on the here and now. It also teaches how to not focus on things you have no control over. In this example, you can prepare as much as possible but there comes a point when you have to just let it happen. Once you learn to stop that internal dialogue, your stress levels will reduce dramatically, making your overall sense of well-being so much better.
Reduced Conflict – from birth our ego is there to protect us and has a need to be right. This can sometimes result in conflict spiralling where there is an argument simply because someone wants to be right. Is it really necessary? Many people argue, both professionally and personally, simply to impress their view on someone else. With Mindfulness, you recognise when this is happening and take a step back. Of course, some conflict is unavoidable, especially when dealing with people, however much of it can be reduced or completely avoided when we keep our egos in check!
Enhanced Teamwork – all of the above points go towards stronger teamwork. If you deal in a ‘people’ industry, like me, then this is so important. Imagine a group of people really listening to each other, responding rather than reacting, being fully present in the moment, and casting no judgement. That’s the dream right?!
The concept of Mindfulness is nothing new but I am very happy that it has become topical and popular in recent years as all the benefits it brings will enhance your life and those around you. It doesn’t just happen overnight, and I am not claiming that I don’t get caught up in things, but one of the key aspects of Mindfulness is recognising when you aren’t being mindful and bringing your attention back to you. The above points are just a few ways Mindfulness can help in your career so I urge everyone to give it a go!