Is mindfulness just another trendy buzzword? Or is it a meaningful and impactful practice in the workplace? Research shows us that mindfulness can have powerful positive impacts on the workplace.
There are a lot of definitions out there, but sometimes simple is best: Mindfulness is paying attention at the moment with total focus. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. The ability to be focused and present at the moment has a number of benefits in the workplace.
5 Benefits of Mindfulness in the Workplace
1. Increased confidence
Mindfulness can help us grow in self-awareness. Because you are totally focused on what’s happening at the moment, you can notice how you’re feeling or reacting to a trigger. This self-awareness will increase confidence because you are able to better manage your response to it.
2. Better emotional intelligence
The research is clear that high emotional intelligence helps people be better leaders. Through mindfulness, you can develop a few key areas of emotional intelligence:
- Self-awareness about your triggers and emotions.
- Increased ability to manage emotions.
- Social awareness about other people. You’re present in the moment and can understand and read their body language and facial expressions.
3. Handle annoying people
Through mindfulness you can dig deeper into why someone is annoying you. It’s not enough to just throw up your hands and say: “That person’s so annoying!” Instead, mindfulness lets you tap into what’s going on beneath the surface and why you are getting so annoyed.
4. More Creativity
While everyone wants to be more creative, often the pace of our work prevents us from reaching that creative space. Mindfulness forces us to slow down and be present in the moment. This opens your mind to be more creative because you aren’t filling it with a bunch of competing demands!
5. Higher level of focus
There is a powerful, yet prevalent, myth in our society: we’re able to multitask. But it’s simply not true! We are not wired to be able to give multiple things our full attention. Through mindfulness, we are forced to be centered on the here-and-now, increasing focus on the task at hand.
How to Increase Mindfulness in the Workplace
1. Mind Your Breathing
Your breath is powerful. It can help calm you down, or it can contribute to stress and anxiety. The way you can be in touch with your breath is to breathe diaphragmatically—when you breathe in, your stomach should fully expand. Try this technique:
- Put your hand on your belly.
- Breathe in until your hand on your stomach moves.
- Hold your breath for a moment before letting it out.
2. Try the 7-second Reset
This technique is really helpful when you’re being triggered at the moment and need to reset. Try it by following these steps:
- Take one second to place your feet on the ground to connect physically to the ground, disconnecting from some of the intense emotions you’re feeling.
- Breathe in for seconds 2-4 and notice what’s happening in your body. Are you feeling tense? Are you breathing rapidly? Simply take note as you breathe in.
- Breathe out for seconds 5-7 and make the adjustment for the mood you want to move into. For example, reduce the tension in your shoulders or sit forward in your chair to engage in the conversation at hand.
You can sign up for a regular reminder to do this powerful exercise at: www.7secondreset.com.
3. Do the 5-5-5
This technique is based around three 5-minute intervals throughout your workday:
- Use 5 minutes before you go into work—sitting on the bus, walking to work, or waiting in the car. Use these 5 minutes to reflect on how you’re showing up today: emotional mood, baggage from earlier in the day, and how you want the day to be.
- The next 5 minutes is a break during the day. Reflect on what’s going on so far and how the day is meeting your intentions.
- The final 5 minutes is when you leave work and can reflect on an entire day. Ask: what mood am I taking from work and how do I want to show up at home?
Mindfulness can seem easy and intuitive, but it’s challenging for us to do in our fast-paced world. So, take some intentional time to practice these exercises and really tap into your present moment. If you implement a mindfulness practice into your daily routine, you will start to notice the difference in how you show up at work each day.