The meditative, rejuvenating practice of “mindfulness” has been lauded by psychologists, wellness experts, and millions of practitioners for its effectiveness in reducing stress, heightening focus, and sustaining positive mental health. This beneficial exercise can be implemented on more than just an individual scale. Incorporating mindfulness into any business setting has already proven valuable to many companies! If fostering this increased positive mental health (and therefore productivity) is something you believe your company could profit from, here are a few things that will help you get started.
What is Mindfulness?
Before you can implement mindfulness, you have to understand what it is! The term “mindfulness” is a kind of inclusive label for awareness of one’s body, mind, and surroundings. It requires more focus and time than you may expect—to be truly mindful, one needs to ground their thoughts solely in the present as they allow thoughts to come to them, rather than intentionally analyze something. The goal is to feel an increased level of understanding and even control over things in their minds and around their bodies.
Leadership Benefits of Mindfulness
With mindfulness comes increased “control” over one’s mind and stress levels, making the brain and body capable of performing strenuous tasks and focusing clearly. Motivation is boosted, energy levels and mood are improved, and perseverance lasts through long stretches of work. As a leader, all of these things are essential to running a business effectively! You need that drive, level-headedness, and positive attitude to direct those under your charge to perform similarly.
How to Practice Mindfulness as a Leader
When it comes to practicing mindfulness as a leader, start by setting aside a brief part of your day for this meditation. Allow yourself a small portion of time with no distractions, no environmental stressors, and take yourself through some breathing exercises that will slow your heart rate and your mind so that you are relaxed enough for your mind to open. Other things that will help you feel grounded and calm are good posture and meditative routines, such as visualization of calm spaces. You will find that the more you practice mindfulness, the easier it becomes to reach a mindful mental state.
If you struggle to find a good “routine” for yourself, consider consulting a mindfulness counselor or coach who is trained to guide individuals through effective patterns of mindful preparation and thinking.
How to Bring Mindfulness to Leadership
Implementing mindfulness practices or strategies into your company’s workforce—especially leadership—may be a slow process, but openness, small habit-building activities, and patience can get you the results you want to see within your company.
Talk Openly and Often about Mindfulness
Don’t shy away from discussing your experiences with mindfulness! Talk freely about the benefits of healing, recovery, and overall improvement in mental, emotional, and physical function. The best way to introduce and encourage mindfulness is to share your positive feelings towards it, your recommendations and reviews of the practice, and all its results. Plus, open communication in a non-aggressive, welcoming way rather than an uncomfortable or “marketing-like” way will keep your employees from feeling skeptical of its validity. Repetition of these positive comments will reinforce those good thoughts or associations that employees have with the concept of mindfulness, instilling a genuine desire to try it out for themselves.
Incorporate Mindfulness Exercises in Meetings
Start adding little segments of mindful exercises to your routine meetings. A few minutes of meditation and relaxation will help the entire group feel more relaxed and ready to take on the work at hand. You may even want to utilize the help or guidance of a mindfulness meditation center. See what resources they can provide your business!
Most of all, be patient as you and the rest of your employees build these helpful habits in their lives and workdays. Results won’t manifest immediately—it takes time and practice to become more relaxed and open, thereby inviting the other benefits of mindful living. Be patient, and before you know it, you’ll start to recognize a difference in yourself and those around you!
Take advantage of this method of healthy, happy living and enjoy the improvements you find in various aspects of your life—but especially those that make your workplace a more productive and positive place to be.