What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment. It’s all about focusing and being aware of what you’re experiencing. The purpose is to allow people to calmly deal with their thoughts and appreciate the things around them.
These are the basic steps of mindfulness:
- Set aside some time in a suitable space.
- Engage with the present. Pay attention to the details of the moment, the environment around you, your thoughts and feelings.
- Observe your thoughts and allow them to pass through your mind. Make a note of any distractions but don’t let them carry you away.
- Keep returning your focus to the present moment.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a method of training your mind to focus and filter out distractions. It makes sense that this would be useful in a professional environment. Research has shown there are many benefits to mindfulness. It can help reduce stress, prevent burnout, improve attention span, and even encourage compassion. It’s also been shown to improve decision-making and problem-solving. Utilizing mindfulness and prioritizing the wellbeing of your team can go a long way in creating a healthy and kind work environment.
Tips to Encourage Mindfulness and Kindness at Work
It’s important to provide your team with the necessary time for mindfulness. It only requires 5-10 minutes. You could do it as a group exercise, or give everyone the time and space to do it on their own. This shows your team that you value their wellbeing. It allows you to set a good example of what it means to be kind and considerate to others.
Take a Break
Stepping away from a problem for a few minutes is a great way to recharge. Research has shown that taking breaks can improve performance and productivity. Use your break time as an opportunity to take care of your wellbeing. You could practice mindfulness, do some stretches, take a quick walk outside or have a healthy snack to re-energize. Encourage your team to take a few minutes for themselves when needed, and ensure they’re taking their full lunch break.
Showing gratitude towards your colleagues can help with team morale and engagement. People will be motivated to produce better results if they know it will be genuinely appreciated. Showing gratitude is as simple as saying “thank you”, but there are other ways to show it. Recognize people’s achievements and efforts by thanking them in person or praising them during a team meeting. Take your team out to lunch/dinner, or provide a treat at the office as a gesture of gratitude. As a leader, you create the culture, so acts of kindness and recognition are important for a healthy and happy workplace.
Be Mindful of Your Behaviour
Mindfulness can teach you to be more aware of your behavior. By making a note of your thoughts, you allow yourself to look at them more objectively and not be controlled by them. This can help you identify habits that might be holding you or your team back. A common struggle for people in leadership positions is resisting the urge to micro-manage. Micro-managing can cause teams to feel disengaged and prevents them from learning and growing. Be mindful of how you lead, and empower your team to make decisions and think creatively. This will keep everyone motivated and passionate about their work.
Mindfulness is an excellent tool to promote wellness and kindness in the workplace. You can use it to grow into a better leader. You can teach it to your team to create a culture of kindness. It only takes a few minutes, and there are many benefits. By using mindfulness, you can build a healthy work environment where people feel engaged and appreciated.
Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Johanna Cider has been reading and writing her way through university. She especially enjoys covering topics about entrepreneurship and lifestyle. See more of her published works on Musings of Johanna