Being mindful means remaining fully present and aware of oneself and one’s surroundings. In an attempt to foster a more creative and productive work environment and workforce, today’s businesses are increasingly turning to mindfulness experts to learn how to encourage more mindfulness and productive thinking in the workplace. Businesses interested in creating a more mindful and focused work environment are encouraging new approaches, such as setting intentions at the start of a project, fostering positive emotions in the workplace, and focusing more attention on the client’s point of view.
Living with too much stress and finding ways to cope with it are common topics in today’s news. Most people in Western society now accept stress and multiple distractions as a normal part of everyday life. Many people now feel insecure and uncomfortable if their cell phone is not always within reach, keeping them in touch with their children, spouses and friends at all times. This trend toward non-stop connectivity, the constant texting and inability to remain present, is having negative impacts on the quality of interactions and productivity at home and at work.
In the long run, technology has encouraged a blurring of the lines between work and personal life as people find themselves in constant communication with clients during their personal hours and with family and friends during the workday. Mindfulness experts also warn that the all too common habit of multi-tasking, is, ultimately, an inefficient use of time.
Some experts believe consistent mindfulness practice can have a positive impact on physical and mental health. Practices like meditation and breathing exercises can help alleviate symptoms of stress by slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and reducing cortisol levels in the brain. With less stress and anxiety, employees will be better able to focus on the task at hand, which may help them to see it in a different view. Thus, productivity is increased.
Today, many forward-thinking employers believe that given the opportunity to spend time each day practicing meditation, awareness, and breathing exercises, or even engaging in play activities will help their employees work more creatively and productively. Some companies have even re-designed their workspaces, adding meditation areas, yoga classes, and recreational opportunities to help re-set the mind and make room for inspiration.