Why you should focus on mindfulness in 2022 and beyond03 Jan 2022
No matter who you are, what industry you work in or what your responsibilities look like, one thing remains constant: the need for mindfulness. We can all benefit from tools and techniques that help us stay in the moment — but as leaders, we’re in a position to make those opportunities accessible, beneficial and even integral parts of our workplaces.
Here’s what we all need to know to be mindful about mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, mindfulness is “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.” Greater Good Magazine explains it like this: “a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.”
In simple terms, mindfulness is the practice of awareness without constant appraisal. It’s often referred to as a form of meditation, which, according to Mayo Clinic, can have a host of benefits — including stress reduction and improved resilience.
Although it may sound like something you perform at home on a yoga mat, the truth is that mindfulness has a significant role to play in the workplace. In fact, it can help address the real cost of stress: $300 billion in lost productivity annually, according to Headspace.
The power of mindfulness
Mindfulness can make a big difference. As reported by Parade, managed health care company Aetna implemented mindfulness training and estimated each practising employee gained an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity — an impressive $3,000 per worker per year.
Here are a few more reasons we should encourage our people to make 2022 the year of mindfulness:
- Better work
According to Mayo Clinic, meditation routines and related mindfulness practices can improve focus and reduce job burnout. The goal is grounded, content teams who aren’t constantly distracted by nagging stress — and as leaders, we know that helps our employees be their best on the job.
- Better relationships
In many ways, mindfulness can be a tool for conflict management. It helps us focus on our state of mind before and during workplace interactions, enabling us to respond to events, conversations and even disagreements from a place of relaxed understanding. When we’re not judging our own thoughts, we’re much less likely to judge others’, leading to fewer misunderstandings and better communication.
- Better balance
Much of what we do in the workplace is about balance, especially when it comes to wellbeing. Mindfulness helps us find that balance by giving us the tools necessary to notice stress and address it without judgement. This, in turn, frees up our mental and emotional energy, allowing us to spend more time in the “life” portion of that work-life balance.
Make mindfulness a habit
Sometimes, the most important journey — like reducing stress and improving productivity in the workplace — begins with just one step. For me and my team, that first step is going to be mindfulness training in 2022. With this program at our fingertips, we’ll learn how to increase our self-awareness, reach our full potential and stay grounded in the moment.
If you’re ready to take this step as well, contact ICML today.