Whether you are looking for a solution to your job-related stress, or a way to better concentrate on your work, mindfulness exercises may be beneficial for you. Mindfulness not only has a positive impact on your work life, but it is also incredibly easy to practice.
At its core, mindfulness is simply about paying attention to the immediate moment. This means being aware of both internal feelings and thoughts, as well as external surroundings and physical sensations.
Mindfulness can be practised in a variety of ways, ranging from guided meditation to something as simple as observing your breathing.
Here are 6 reasons you should be practising mindfulness to help bring balance to your work life.
1. Decreases Stress
Work-related stress is a significant issue in Australia, and it can even lead to mental health conditions. Mindfulness works as both a preventative measure against stress as well as a way to cope with it.
Mindfulness allows you to become aware of your thoughts and consequently enables you to manage them. The kind of thoughts that lead to stress are often ones that racing, repetitive and unproductive.
By practising mindfulness and recognising these thoughts, you can control them, rather than have them repeat in your mind and cause unnecessary mental strain.
“Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, around 91% of workers’ compensation claims involving a mental health condition were linked to work-related stress or mental stress.”
– Safe Work Australia
2. Improves Cognitive Functioning
Regularly practising mindful meditation has been found to improve the cerebral cortex.
Specifically, studies of brain scans suggest that practising mindfulness can thicken the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that helps with learning and memory.
So, if you are having trouble with learning new tasks or remembering important information at work, regular mindful meditation may be beneficial for you.
Mindfulness has jumped
– Harvard University
3. Improves Focus and Reduces Distractions
Mindfulness is a skill in which you practice focusing. During meditation breaks, you may concentrate on your breathing or your physical surroundings.
Practising focusing like this helps you develop this skill, so you can use it when you need to focus on getting work done. Additionally, mindfulness while working may look like completing only one task at a time.
Although multitasking is widely viewed as an excellent skill to have, studies suggest that it actually negatively affects productivity. Multitasking may seem like a more efficient way of getting work done.
However, in reality, it takes more time and results in more errors as the brain is required to switch focus between different tasks repeatedly. Being mindful by practising single-tasking helps you focus on one thing at a time.
This ultimately improves your concentration on the task at hand and therefore increases productivity.
Practice of Meditation in Schools
fewer class absences
fewer suspension dates
fewer rule infractions
4. Improves Workplace Relationships
Relationships with colleagues or bosses can be a significant source of workplace unhappiness in many people. While you cannot always fix poor working relationships, you can change how you approach difficult situations with others.
The practise of mindfulness trains you to be attentive to the present moment, which can make you a better listener. Additionally, when you are fully present, you are more conscious of what you are saying to others.
Communication breakdowns are a huge source of disagreement, so improving your interpersonal skills may alleviate some tensions in poor workplace relationships.
“Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
5. Enhances Creativity
No matter what kind of job you have, creative thinking is essential. Mindfulness, especially mindful meditation, is believed to promote something known as ‘divergent thinking’.
This means mindfulness encourages your brain to think in new ways and come up with new ideas.
So, whether you need to write an original article before a deadline, or you need to think of new ways to solve a problem in the office, you should be using mindfulness to enhance your creative thinking.
6. Lowers Burnout Rate
Work burnout stems from a variety of work-related stressors. This may include things like poor work-life balance or lack of control over your work.
While mindfulness cannot tackle every aspect of work burnout, it can help lower the burnout rate by addressing some of the causes.
For example, your work-life balance can be improved with the implementation of mindfulness. One study revealed that mindfulness, when integrated into everyday life, helps to separate work from home. This ultimately helps maintain a healthy balance.
According to Psychology Today, burnout is: “a state of chronic stress that leads to, (a) physical and emotional exhaustion, (b) cynicism and detachment, and (c) feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.”
The practice of mindfulness is incredibly easy, and it only takes a few minutes out of your day. But regularly practising mindfulness and integrating it into your everyday life can be hugely beneficial.
Mindfulness improves not only your ability to work but also your mental health. The stress and pressure that often comes from work can be challenging to deal with on your own. This is why you should be taking the time to focus on yourself with a little bit of mindfulness.
Check out these tips if you want to learn more about focusing on yourself.