Five Benefits of Mindfulness
Five Benefits of Mindfulness
According to the Harvard Business Review, mindfulness is no longer a luxury for business leaders, it is a “must-have.” That’s why companies like Facebook, Google, and Hubspot have all started their own meditation groups. Employees who meditate have an edge over those who don’t. Even the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco Giants make mindfulness a part of their training.
So how does embracing mindfulness positively impact your performance? Below are 5 benefits of having a regular mindfulness practice.
1. Mindfulness improves your attention.
Mindfulness and meditation tap into an organization’s most precious resource: attention. Research shows that attention is a trainable skill. A study done by the University of Washington found that those who practice meditation stay on tasks longer and show improved memory for the tasks they perform. So, improving the quality of your own attention will become the catalyst for shifting the entire culture of your organization
2. Mindfulness allows you to embrace feedback.
Constructive criticism can be one of the least pleasant experiences you can have at work. If it is delivered or received poorly it kills productivity. Mindfulness teaches you to slow down and observe your response rather than immediately default to the fight/flight response. When you are triggered, 1400 different chemicals are released into your body that shut down major parts of your brain. By mindfully breathing and considering the information, you are able to accept criticism with poise and learn from the experience.
3. Mindfulness enhances your ability to listen.
Often when someone is talking, you may find yourself distracted by another dialogue going on in your head. At work, you can’t afford to feed this habit. Your success and effectiveness are directly tied to your ability to fully attend to and accurately process the flow of information. Mindfulness acts as a filter, allowing you to strain out all the distractions that aren’t helping you in this moment.
4. Mindfulness builds self-awareness.
Self-aware people tend to perform better at work, get more promotions, and lead more effectively. However, new research by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich shows that while 95% of people think they are self-aware, only 10-15% actually are. Mindfulness teaches you to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental way. When you observe your behaviors and beliefs without judging yourself, you gain new insight that improves your results.
5. Mindfulness enriches your relationships.
By developing a regular mindfulness practice, you can experience more joy and resilience as you navigate the inevitable challenges at work. When you improve your attention, embrace criticism without defensiveness, strengthen your listening skills, and address blind spots through enhanced self-awareness, you automatically strengthen your relationships and become a greater asset to your team. You also lay the foundation for increased meaning and engagement in your work.
If you are looking to improve your performance and decrease your stress, then mindfulness could be your answer. After all, we are human beings - not human doings - and mindfulness helps us pay attention to our lives. Start by giving yourself the gift of 10 minutes per day to quiet your mind. If you can’t find 10 minutes once per day in your schedule, then you need to do it twice per day. I want to challenge you to fall in love with taking care of yourself: Mind, Body, and Spirit.