Mindfulness has been a buzz-word for some time now. We’ve all heard of it, but what is it and why is it such an essential component of wellness and performance in the workplace?
Beyond the spiritual context we often hear mindfulness associated with, it is a cognitive tool that emphasizes the practice of openly attending, with awareness, to one’s experience in the present moment (Creswell, 2017). The tool of mindfulness allows one to see thoughts as extraneous to one’s self. As we are able to recognize a thought, we create space between a thought and an automatic (or unconscious) reaction. Mental fatigue, lack of focus and waning creativity are the product of a mind packed with thoughts that have nowhere to go.
Mindlessness is really a person experiencing an endless loop of thoughts and reactions without any awareness or intervention. These individuals are chronically stressed, often anxious, and likely experiencing very poor sleep quality. As a result of this, these same individuals are likely suffering with mental ailments that include poor concentration, lack of self-awareness, and reduced productivity. This is not to mention the physical ailments such as chronic pain, fatigue, digestive issues and more that go along with this level of stress.
The workplace represents an opportunity to transform health and performance for employees by addressing stress where it is born: the mind. Mindfulness in the workplace is the way to do this.
To implement mindfulness, employees need:
Mindfulness is the practice of building self-awareness. As one becomes aware of their thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and intuitive knowingness, they have clues into the source of their stress. By then offering health and wellness education, employees are able to connect what they are learning (by becoming more self-aware) to real-time situations. This empowering process equips employees with skill sets that help mitigate stress and emotional difficulties, as well as boosting positive feedback loops that lead to greater happiness and energy.
In a culture where we’ve been trained to “push through”, what if the opposite-- stopping to pause, to breathe, to become aware-- is the solution? Then, we can respond with informed action. One of the biggest causes of chronic stress is not having a strategy. At Dreamfully, we offer a roadmap that helps people transition from mindlessly stressed to mindfully calm. We offer mindfulness tools and programs through our app, in addition to education modules that simplify concepts and strategies for wellness and performance.
Ultimately, mindfulness can transform the workplace into a place of growth, healing, and empowerment-- something that benefits employees personally, while also helping organizations thrive.