Zen and the art of self-maintenance – or mindfulness. What’s not to like?
A state of focus that brings about togetherness of mind and body can produce feelings of wellbeing and ‘self-love’: sign me up now.
Its roots may be in the Buddhist tradition, but recently a secular version of the practice has emerged and it is spreading like… well like wild-fire across the executive globe. With all the benefits it offers – including reduced stress and anxiety – even organisations such as Google, Apple, Transport for London, and the Home Office have made mindfulness training available for their employees. Even award-winning companies like mindvalleyacademy.com have built it into the bricks and mortar of their company ID and ethos.
Below we look closely at the positive effects of mindfulness in the workplace.
1. Emotional well-being
Mindfulness skyrockets in our emotional health. A study by the University of Utah found that people who engage in mindfulness have more stability in their emotions; the subjects also reported feeling a much stronger control over their mood and behaviour in their daily lives.
2. Better sleep
The study mentioned above also shows that “Higher mindful people describe less cognitive and physiological activation before bedtime (…) greater emotional stability during the day might even translate into better sleep.”
3. Stronger Immune system
Nothing replaces good hygiene and diet when it comes to protecting one’s body against nasty colds. But mindfulness does make the immune system even stronger.
4. Better quality of life
A research conducted by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health shows people who practice mindfulness take less sick days. When they did catch colds, the duration was reported to be shorter than their non-mindful colleagues.
This means employees get much better quality of life, and absenteeism in companies is severely reduced. Everybody wins.
5. Increased Focus
Mindfulness strengthens the ability to focus in all areas of life, and this result isn’t limited to the meditating sessions. According to researchers Moore and Malinowski, people who do practice mindfulness have a stronger ability to suppress distractions and keep focused, which can lead to increased productivity and engagement.
Besides improving working memory and creativity, mindfulness also has a positive impact on decision-making. Researchers at INSEAD and The Wharton School document that as little as 15 minutes of mindful meditation can significantly improve the ability to make smart decisions. This is great news, especially for leaders and professionals who rely heavily on decision-making to succeed in their careers.
So, why not aim to schedule a cha specific time for mindfulness?
How about adding it to your daily routine: Anyone for coffee? Anyone for Mindfulness? It might sound crazy, but there are some brilliant companies doing just that – offering mindfulness time and spaces to employees because they know it produces happier, more productive, mindful bods.
We’d love to feature your company in our blog if you have a mindfulness practice in the company. Get in touch!