Throughout the past several decades, companies in America have been known for their fast-paced environment, high-stress jobs and for the workaholic types that make it all a reality. However, over the past few years, there has been a new, emerging trend that is changing the way these organizations operate. This trend is known as the mindfulness movement, and it is all about promoting self-awareness and acceptance among individuals.
For those who aren’t familiar with mindfulness, simply put, it is an effort to be more continuously present with an experience. It means paying attention on purpose, it means being aware of what you are doing and it means doing what you can to take care of your own mental and emotional well-being in an effort to be a more active and engaged person.
It is about seeing the world with clarity, being more focused and ultimately being more compassionate towards yourself and towards others around you. Mindfulness is all about self-betterment.
If you dive into the history of mindfulness, it has roots in Buddhist culture, but over the past few years, it has taken on a new, more contemporary makeover, with many taking the foundation of this practice and applying it to our modern world. Here are four ways that mindfulness is improving the modern workplace and changing the lives of the millions who work in these offices.
Mindfulness as a Leadership Approach
A number of startup founders are embracing a mindfulness leadership approach and looking towards this practice in order to help them be more present in their efforts and less judgmental when it comes to leading others. Leaders have also found that with a mindfulness approach, they are becoming more in-tune with themselves, can learn good listening and communication skills and improve their problem solving and decision making talents. The result is a better and more effective leadership regimen.
Mindfulness to Improve Productivity
One of the biggest reasons that workplaces are turning to mindfulness programs is to help increase their productivity, and it works. Even though mindfulness isn’t normally as quantifiable as other types of programs, countless organizations have found that when employees take time for themselves and improve their own mental well-being and mindfulness, they get more done. Several studies on meditation and Zen practices have found that those who meditate daily have better concentration and focus, are less likely to be distracted and are more productive overall.
Mindfulness to Relieve Stress
If you visit some of the largest, most high-stress companies in the world, such as Google, Apple or Yahoo!, chances are you are going to see meditation rooms throughout these facilities. This is because companies large and small are known for having long work hours and high stakes jobs and are seeing the benefits of daily meditation for their employees. With a shocking amount of research on how meditation lessens stress and anxiety, and even blood pressure, many organizations are finding this is the key to improving employee satisfaction, quality of life and keeping their team members less stressed and more focused on their work day.
Mindfulness Can Help Corporations Develop New Strategies
So much of mindfulness is about being more insightful and looking at the world in a different way. Many organizations have found that this can help them develop new, innovative strategies as they bring differing insights into the mix. This is something that Steve Jobs, a regular proponent of mindfulness, and an avid meditator, would constantly do to enhance the creative strategies at Apple, and it is something that more strategists are embracing throughout corporate America.
So how exactly do corporations bring mindfulness to the workplace? A mixture of classes, personal-improvement programs, access to meditation rooms and other programs have all helped bring the art of mindfulness into the workplace. The idea is to embrace a more Zen way of thinking and to take time to meditate even if it is only briefly, every day. The benefits of this mindfulness movement are not only changing many corporations, but the people who are working for them as well.
If you are not familiar with the mindfulness movement, then you may want to take the time to learn more about this way of thinking to help your business, your employees or yourself no matter what industry you may work in.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.