According to Mark Williams, professor of clinical psychology at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. Professor Williams says that mindfulness is one solution to our busy, and stressful lives.
So, why is mindfulness important in the workplace?
An individual who practices mindfulness is one who is able to function better in high performing roles, has an enhanced level of focus and attention and has increased self-awareness, and awareness of others.
What are the benefits of mindful practice at work?
A team who practice mindfulness will naturally take time to listen more attentively, and be far more able to disregard interruptions or distraction. They will be able to communicate more clearly, directing their thoughts in a more appropriate manner, and are more likely to remain focussed for longer periods of time with the ability to empathise more willingly.
These behaviours can only be of benefit to staff, their colleagues and the wider business.
Here are 3 practical tips to implement with your team:
- Introduce a mindfulness minute; just one minute at the start of each day when all staff can practice being mindful. This could include observing their hands or the ebb and flow of their breath. Encourage them to try doing this at home, before they even arrive at work.
- Support time for conscious observation when the going gets tough. This involves taking an object and allowing all of your attention to be fully absorbed by it, giving an increased sense of being in the ‘now’. This will help to release any immediate feelings of stress or frustration – it’s a type of meditation.
- The body scan – this is an excellent way of introducing mindful practice, by simply scanning each element of your body from head to toe for any sensations of discomfort or tension, attempting to soften it as you move onto the next. This is a perfect one to try during your lunch break.
Mindfulness is a tool which can be practiced at anytime, anywhere; whether you’re sat on the train on your morning commute or waiting in a long queue. It is a perfect antidote to our busy, challenging lifestyles, and can improve our mental health and wellbeing. It can help us to enjoy the world around us and ultimately, understand ourselves a little better.