The advantages of mindfulness in everyday working life

The advantages of mindfulness in everyday working life

by Nathaniel Johnson

Mindfulness increases stress resistance in the job. Also, studies show positive effects on the commitment, concentration and productivity of employees.

Great upheavals in the economy and society, such as digitization, create stress for many people. For example, you ask yourself: Will I still have my job next year? When companies react faster and faster to the demands of the markets and have to become more and more flexible and agile, employees and managers are equally affected. Many companies have reacted to these stressful factors and are now offering mindfulness workshops. In doing so, they realize: This also makes employees more creative and productive.

The concept of mindfulness is about the conscious awareness of the current moment. These include: thoughts, emotions and also processes in the body. These things are considered but not evaluated. The value-free observation and acceptance of the present is a state of consciousness that can be learned. Mindfulness is a personality trait that can be developed in many ways.

Mindfulness promotes problem-solving skills and attention

Brain researcher Richard Davidson has been studying mindfulness meditation and its effects on the brain for many years. He researches to what extent the emotional wiring in the brain can be changed through targeted training so that people feel more happy and produce more positive human qualities, such as increased compassion. Davidson conducted extensive case studies on Tibetan monks who had approximately 45,000 hours of meditation practice.

With the help of medical imaging methods, the brain activities of monks meditating for a long time could be examined using various indicators. The result was the following: The monks showed levels of so-called gamma waves in the brain that had never been measured at this altitude. This state is associated with expanded perception, faster information processing and increased problem-solving skills.

At the same time, Davidson was able to determine a higher brain activity in the left prefrontal frontal lobe in the monks, compared to people without meditation practice. A higher activity in this brain region stands for more positive emotions, more balance and increased attention. Thickenings were also measured in various areas of the cerebral cortex, which are important for empathy, emotion regulation and stress resistance.

Mindfulness training increases employee engagement

An employee survey has been conducted on how eight-week mindfulness training affects a group of meditating and non-meditating employees in a stressful environment. Employee surveys showed that in the group of meditators the general mood improved, the commitment of the employees increased and the feeling of stress decreased.

Also, a side effect of the meditators was a strengthening of the immune system. A relatively short exercise session of eight weeks already helped to feel healthier, more positive and less stressful. So-called meta-studies also show that mindfulness training has positive effects on the health, general well-being and quality of life of practitioners, which in turn has a beneficial effect on performance in the workplace.

Mindfulness enables a change of perspective

Most of the time, based on existing evaluation and response patterns, we act similarly and with similar results. Mindfulness enables a change of perspective. The ability to consciously change one's perspective is described as a form of perception on the meta-level. He who is mindful becomes an observer of his life. He realizes that all things that arise in the perception, such as thoughts, evaluations, inner dialogues or constructed stories, come and go. It's about getting in touch with your thoughts, emotions and sensations - not getting stuck on them; regardless of whether you rate them positively, negatively or neutrally at the moment.

Mindfulness promotes job satisfaction

Those who are mindful live in direct experience and not in conceptual judgmental thinking. This ability to change perspective can lead to greater job satisfaction. Those who do not focus on the present moment in an judgmental way can observe stressful events more objectively. This helps to perceive stressful situations more clearly and from different perspectives and not to be influenced immediately by one's negative evaluation patterns.

Stress can thus be reduced in a targeted manner through the ability to assess situations more appropriately. Also, mindfulness promotes self-determined behavior, conscious interruption and active change in habitual reactions. Perceiving one's own experience in every moment also leads to people being more aware of their values ​​and needs and being able to act more following them. This also has a positive effect on job satisfaction.

Mindfulness favors emotional intelligence

How does mindfulness affect areas such as social skills, work productivity and leadership? Those who practice mindfulness foster the development of emotional intelligence. Concerning the relevance and importance of the topic in terms of content, empirical studies show that people who control their feelings and those of others and who can deal with them more constructively are also more successful in their professional life, suffer less from mental disorders, have better personal relationships and are more satisfied. The ability to empathize with people in one's environment is critical to the success of customers, work colleagues and employees. Because when the other person feels that you are present, that you can listen and show respect, the relationship becomes more profitable for both sides.

Mindfulness promotes concentration and productivity

Many employees' minds wander while completing a task. Many are in a constant state of partial attention through calls, e-mails or text messages on their smartphones and are distracted from their actual work. This in turn creates stress and productivity drops massively in some cases.

Mindfulness promotes the ability to focus more on work in the present moment, to be less distracted, and to consciously bring the mind back to the task at hand should it wander. Those who use this skill in the workplace are more focused and productive.

Mindfulness makes you more authentic and predictable

The effect of mindfulness in leadership as follows: Mindfulness is a key management competence. Those who train mindfulness expand their self-knowledge. This knowledge about oneself and the functioning of the mind as well as its evaluations enables practitioners not to react automatically to always the same patterns in a situation and towards people.

Mindful leaders have a wider repertoire of appropriate courses of action. They perceive internal impulses more quickly and can consciously decide from a self-observing attitude how they want to react as constructively as possible. Also, mindful executives were better able to be with themselves and their needs without having to pretend - they presented themselves more authentically and predictably. Because: People trust their superiors when their behavior matches the values they have expressed and their moods and opinions do not change constantly.

Mindful managers are also more aware of their thoughts and feelings and thus come more into contact with their intuition. This helps them to better assess situations and people and at the same time to become aware of their projections that distort the decision. That way, leaders make better decisions.

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