Mindfulness is heavily linked with Buddhism and is made up of what is known as the four pilllars of Mindfulness. The four pillars consist of being aware of your thoughts in the here and now, paying attention to your body, being aware of your emotions and what is happening around you. The practise of Mindfulness aims to achieve clarity of mind as well as focus and In this article I’m going to talk about its benefits in terms of your prodcutivity
Mindfulness can be a game changer for your career
The popularity of mindfulness at work in recent times is no coincidence, companies like Apple, Yahoo, Starbucks, and Google have been using mindfulness because their employees have found its uses very beneficial. For instance each year Google allows its employees to participate in a free 19-hour course that’s proven to be very popular with many Google employees and many of them re-participate on the Mindfulness course each and every year
Ok, you got my attention what is mindfulness exactly?
Well, imagine being able to gain control of unproductive thoughts and behaviors that take away your ability to focus on the task at hand and give those tasks your undivided attention instead. That is what Mindfulness can do for you, Mindfulness is a form of meditation that is both straightforward and effective and with regular practise you can sharpen your ability to focus.
Mindfulness allows you to reduce stress and enter a state of mind that makes you feel like your in control of your thoughts so you’re not consistently jumping from thought to thought. We all have negative thoughts that play like a broken record but mindfulness can help you put a stop to those negative thoughts. So in short if your having a hectic day but would prefer a calmer more productive day mindfulness is the way to go.
Ellen Langer is a psychologist at Harvard University who studies mindfulness and in her own words she described Mindfulness like this:
“Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present. It makes you more sensitive to context and perspective. It’s the essence of engagement. And it’s energy-begetting, not energy-consuming. The mistake most people make is to assume it’s stressful and exhausting—all this thinking. But what’s stressful is all the mindless negative evaluations we make and the worry that we’ll find problems and not be able to solve them.”
What’s the reason for the rise in popularity of Mindfulness at work?
Mindfulness offers many benefits and one of the core reasons why large companies like Google have invested time and resources into Mindfulness is that it has reportedly improved employee performance at the workplace.This is backed up by the extensive research that Ellen Langer has conducted on how practicing mindfulness improves your performance in many different areas and makes task fulfilment easier.
Although Mindfulness has had a positive impact on employee performance in the workplace, large companies have been employing the use of mindfulness for other reasons other than performance and below are some of the reasons why companies believe in the effectiveness of mindfulness as well as how mindfulness benefits just about everybody.
Mindfulness is perfect for relieving stress
Stress is nobody’s friend, in fact its a killer of both your performance and you if you’re not careful. According to theCDC roughly 66% of all hospital visits were to do with problems that stem from stress. Stress can cause high blood pressure, a variety of diseases that are autoimmune in nature, cancer, heart problems, sleeping difficulties, depression, anxiousness and more. Mindfulness can be beneficial for people who are experiencing stress because it helps you to stop living a life where it feels like your on a knife edge all the time and brings you into a more relaxed state where you can experience a more zen way of living.
Mindfulness strengthens your focus
Humans aren’t good at juggling multiple tasks at the same time even computers can’t do it but everyday life demands that you do so in order to stay current but mindfulness is all about putting all of your focus on just one thing and regular mindfulness practice helps you to master that skill. This is important because a mind that is focused like a laser is a mind that is not easily distracted.
When we’re working, it’s easy to get distracted by the latest update on social media or the very next notification on your phone but mindfulness can help you to zone out those distractions so your focus is on the present task at hand. You can also apply this to other areas as well like listening for example everyone loves a good listener and we can all tell when the person we’re talking to is zoning us out. Just remember that a focused mind is a productive mind.
Want to boost your creativity, mindfulness can help with that too
Creativity is all about your mental state and mindfulness can help you to eliminate negativity from your thinking allowing your creativity to flow better. Mindfulness is all about “the here and now”
Do you want to improve your emotional intelligence (EQ)
So if you’re not familiar with the term emotional intelligence then let me explain Emotional intelligence is about gaining a deeper understanding of your emotions and also recognising the emotional state of others. The benefit of this is that it can improve your relationships with others as well as yourself. (EQ) affects our behaviors and the ways in which we manage them, the way we deal with people, and the sorts of decisions that we make.
Over the Decades a lot of research has been done and the results show that EQ is an important factor in assessing star performers and what sets them apart from everyone else. Emotional Intelligence is about focusing your energy and directing it on one task and such focus can lead to some tremendous results.
TalentSmart tested EQ as well as a number of other skills that were deemed important in the workplace and their results show that a person’s EQ is directly related to their performance, Talensmart also found that EQ was a key factor for successful employees in many different fields and types of jobsTalentSmart also found that 90% of top performers in general had strong levels of EQ.
You can even become a better person
There are strong links between mindfulness and good natured behavior, but don’t take my word for it, they are the result of a Harvard study.. Subjects who meditated were more likely to be compassionate and kind to people.
I’ve put together a list of what I believe are the best books on the subject of mindfulness:
- The untethered soul by Michael Singer
- Waking up by Sam Harris
- 10% Happier by Dan Harris
- The 4 agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- The power of now by Eckart Tolle
So to wrap it all up
Mindfulness can improve your performance right now as well as your future capacity to perform certain tasks. So hopefully you’ve read enough here to at least consider giving Mindfulness a shot you may be surprised by the difference it can make to your life.