Research shows that we are experiencing increased stress as we return to work. Research also shows that practicing 15 minutes of mindfulness daily reduces this stress.
What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is simply the ability to pay deep attention to what’s happening, internally and externally, minute by minute. Research reports that physiologically, mindfulness decreases the size of your amygdala, the part of the brain that initiates stress. It also reduces your cortisol level, which is a stress hormone.
Mindfulness is achieved by intentionally focusing, having moments of meditation, doing breathing exercises, having quiet time, and simply paying attention. If you practice mindfulness 15 minutes a day, it becomes a habit. As with any habit, you will be mindful automatically. Then you will be able to consolidate your thoughts and ideas, so they are less overwhelming. When your mind is focused, you can think clearly and this also increases your creativity. As you control your thoughts and behaviors, mindfulness promotes empathy and self regulation. Lastly, mindfulness improves productivity because you working more efficiently and more strategically.
The benefits of mindfulness stretch beyond the workplace. People who engage in mindfulness are able to learn quicker, have more empathy, have a higher acceptance and tolerance of change and perform better overall.
Mindfulness can be taught both in-person and virtually. Participants need to practice these techniques and organizations can promote this by providing, not only the training, but also spaces where employees can take a few minutes of downtime to relax, meditate, stretch and/or simply zone out.
All of this works to enhance the individual’s comfort and productivity. When the employees function at full capacity, the organization benefits as well.