By Robyn Short, President & CEO, Workplace Peace Institute
Reimagining organizations by devising an innovative model that encourages productive, fulfilled, and engaged employees.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, to be fully aware of where we are, to have full awareness of what we are doing, and to have well-regulated emotional reactions to our surroundings. Mindfulness is a quality that every person possesses, although many of us do not have the skills to access it. The good news is that these skills can be learned through mindfulness practices.
In all aspects of our lives, and certainly in the workplace, mindfulness matters. Regardless of a person’s role in any organization, we all need to approach our work with focus, an open mind, and even an open heart. In doing so, we are able to problem-solve more creatively and collaboratively which leads to our ability to see more clearly in the midst of complex challenges.
As I noted in the article, Who Do You Choose to Be?, we are living in a time of unprecedented change filled with political, social, and environmental disruptions that affect us all. As a result, we are experiencing a widespread crisis in mental health as people reach their capacity for enduring near-constant stress. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that close to 40 percent of Americans indicate that the stress of the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health. Women have been particularly impacted by pandemic-related workplace stress. Stress is not just mentally taxing, but it also takes a physical toll by increasing inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases, including autoimmune and heart diseases.
Six Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation is a scientifically proven practice for increasing mindfulness. Meditation increases our capacity for creativity, resiliency, and emotional regulation — essential skills for the modern workplace. There are many benefits to meditation; below are just a few.
Meditation increases our capacity for empathy and compassion. New research has found that it may even reduce prejudice.
Meditation improves our ability to sustain attention, leading to improved cognition.
Group meditation in the workplace can lead to improved collaboration and higher quality of work.
Meditation improves memory, even when under stress.
Meditation supports our ability to disengage from toxic emotions and behaviors and remain emotionally regulated, compassionate, and open-hearted.
Meditation is medicine for burnout and stress. Meditation reduces cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the hormone that causes inflammation. As medicine, meditation has both an immediate and long-term impact.
Lead With Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a critical leadership skill. To create a workplace that embodies mindfulness, leaders must model this practice. Meditation takes time and discipline. Although research shows that just 10 minutes of meditation per day is enough to reap the benefits of meditation, 30 minutes per day will bring even greater results.
Considering the significant benefits of meditation and the need for cultivating a mindful workforce, promoting meditation in the workplace is a sound business investment. A workforce that is less stressed will also experience reduced turnover, improved productivity, and increased innovation.
The future of work is human-centered. Meditation is a practice that supports the individual’s ability to thrive, and when people thrive, organizations thrive. Join Workplace Peace Institute’s Mindful Leader online, leadership training course and begin to reap the benefits of this transformative practice — personally and professionally.
Dr. Robyn Short is the president and CEO of Workplace Peace Institute – an organizational systems design and research firm that is singularly focused on creating workplace cultures where people thrive. Workplace Peace Institute supports small to mid-sized businesses in optimizing employee engagement, maximizing organizational productivity, and improving profitability by infusing human security and dignity as foundational attributes of their business model.