Recently, company culture has shifted to become more aware of the mental wellness of employees, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With anxiety and depression negatively affecting workplace performance and mood, companies are looking for ways to improve the mental health of their workers. One way is mindfulness, which has been shown to benefit both the employer and employees.
Mindfulness brings individuals to a calming and purposeful state of being. Through mindfulness, employees can achieve a work-life balance. Today, leadership teams within companies are providing information and training on how to use mindfulness to obtain work-life balance.
Understanding and Accepting One’s Feelings and Thoughts
First, learn to be aware of how you feel in the moment. We often say we feel fine to appease other people. This is a learned behavior; when we were growing up, we were often told to keep moving forward and not to dwell on ourselves. Instead, we must take time to be in the moment and observe how we are feeling without judging our feelings as good or bad. This simple practice allows us to take control of our being.
We have been told to accomplish more, push forward, and never stop. That’s what we do, and many of us tend to get stressed and burned out because of it. Being on the go all the time simply wears us out, body and mind. When we take time to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, and what is happening in the present, we can find a relaxing awareness.
Knowing but Not Practicing
Science backs up the good that meditation does for us, but why don’t we take time to do it? There will always be distractions; it’s how we choose to react to these distractions—particularly at work—that determines how mindfulness can improve company culture. During your breaks at work, find a quiet place to calmly practice mindfulness. Deliberately be in the moment, without judgmental thoughts, and know that if one technique doesn’t work, you can try another. This can serve as a positive intervention for both your psychological and physical health.
Additionally, the company CEO can set an example for proper self-care. If employees observe the CEO taking time for mindfulness, they will feel more comfortable following suit.
Daydreaming Is a Similar Practice
Daydreaming stops our mind for a bit of time to concentrate on something we like. Being mindful doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Even concentrating on a particular item may help center your focus.
Instead of trying to change things, accept them for what they are. Holding judgment only hurts yourself. It’s like the common saying, “It’s not what happens that affects us, it’s how we choose to react to it.” Being mindful of the moment allows us to slow down our fast-moving brain, which tends to run on autopilot. It takes practice to slow it down.
Mindfulness can sometimes be called stepping back or taking a minute—and it’s a practice that many people don’t have the chance to engage in regularly, especially in the workplace.
Companies Could Change Society as We Know It
Why go to the trouble to learn new behavior? Clinical trials have shown that mindful meditation is effective. With all the negativity around us, companies can step in to show us that there is another way to handle it.
If you are feeling stressed or have high blood pressure or depression, it can be hard to focus on work. Through mindfulness, encouraged by leadership, positive effects include:
- Being 100 percent on the job
- Improved concentration
- Less frequent burnout
- Healthier and happier employees
Historically, workplace culture has told us to be better, faster, and always on top of things, and we didn’t take time to take care of ourselves. Fortunately, companies are learning to respect the work-life balance and encourage employees to be aware of it.