Mindfulness In Careers & Business
Mindfulness has become extremely popular in recent times with the scientific world also validating its benefits. But what is mindfulness – what are its benefits in careers and business – and what are the techniques that will help one become mindful?
Derek O Kelly, education manager at The Waverley Academy and founder of the Winning Minds Movement, helps answer some of these questions.
Mindfulness is an everyday experience of being engaged and present with whatever you are doing from moment to moment. And of course, that’s relatively easy to experience when we’re doing things we enjoy.
But for most of us, it’s a little harder when we’re under stress at work or with the business. For most people, these would be times when we would tend to wander off into the default mode of worrying, or dwelling, or get caught up in judgments and reactions. So in moments like this, mindfulness becomes a practice. And of course, anything we practice we get better at.
Scientific studies have indicated that the following benefits can be gained from mindfulness practice.
· Calm and focused attitudes
· Less anxiety and stress
· Greater energy and positivity
· Better business and workplace relationships
· Improved confidence and level headedness
· More resilient to challenges
· Less tension, anger and fatigue
· More replenishing sleep
· Positive mental wellbeing
· More insight and creativity
The following are two of the most common and easy to use exercises when starting mindfulness practice. They are designed to relax and bring calmness to your mind – and enable you the mental space to bring clarity to your thinking. When starting out – one or two minutes is all that’s required to start gaining benefits
This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time
- Start by breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for approximately 6 seconds.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body.
- Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath.
- Purposefully watch your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its pathway as it enters your body and fills you with life.
- Then watch with your awareness as it works work its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world.
This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way.
- Choose an object within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. It can be anything such as a chair, table or vase of flowers.
- Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows.
- Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time.
- Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
Mindfullness can bring many benefits to your career or business. It requires practice – but it’s amazing what you can achieve by dedicating a few minutes per week to the above 2 techniques.
The Waverley Academy will be launching mindfulness workshops in the New Year. For more information visit www.academy.ie