Encouraging Mindfulness & self-care in the workplace
Mindfulness has become a practice that has grown in popularity over recent years. It’s known to be practised by leading figures in the business world and is being adopted in some of the world’s top workplaces. If you’re considering building mindfulness into your business, our quick guide will help you to understand how to best implement it.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the moment. In the modern world, the ability to be in the present has become more important than ever. With distractions including phones, technology, other workers, meetings etc. you can be dragged away from the important tasks that need to be completed in your day.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Mindfulness in the workplace allows you to let go of thoughts about the past and future and focus on the present. A meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience has shown that slow breathing techniques can produce increased relaxation, alertness and reduce anxiety. This can help you and your team to be calmer in the workplace, leading to better decision making and work output.
Mindfulness and focusing on one thing at a time prevents multitasking. Multitasking can negatively impact time management and increase the time it takes to complete tasks, which ultimately impacts performance.
How do you practice mindfulness?
There are many ways to practise mindfulness. It can range from short, simple tasks such as focussing on one’s breath to longer meditation sessions. General ideas around meditation exercises as recommended by Australian Government service, Health Direct include:
- Find yourself a quiet spot, away from distractions.
- Get settled into a comfortable position, either on the floor or in a comfortable chair. When you feel comfortable, close your eyes.
- When meditating, the key is to practice focusing on just one thing. When you become aware that your mind is wandering, just guide it back (without judgement) and focus.
Research has also indicated that performing mindfulness outdoors is especially beneficial. While meditating may be difficult to begin with, just like a muscle, your ability to meditate will become stronger and relaxing will become easier. Creating a daily habit to practice mindfulness will go a long way over time.
How can you implement mindfulness in your workplace?
Strategies to include mindfulness in your company include:
Create education programs
Educating your workplace about the benefits of mindfulness will need to be a big part of embedding it within your business. Having sessions where mindfulness is explained, or setting time for people to practice meditation together will help it become a regular practice.
Create a culture around mindfulness
Allowing time in the workday for employees to perform their mindfulness will send a message that it’s encouraged by management. By joining in on these sessions, management not only shows they believe in it, they can also enjoy the benefits themselves.
Workplace challenges can motivate employees to practise mindfulness and develop good habits. You might want to challenge your team to achieve a certain amount of hours of mindfulness per month, which will create healthy competition and encourage team members to meditate.
Building a culture of mindfulness will benefit both employees and employers. Having a focused and capable team of problem-solvers will help you achieve more.
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