Why Mindfulness Is The Key To Work Productivity And Mental Wellbeing
You can’t work if you’re too busy being a worrywart.
“When can our lives go back to normal? I want to go out.”
Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, you probably really miss socialising right now.
Human beings are social creatures. By nature, we thrive on social connections. In fact, social connection is identified as a core human need, whereby a lack of it can cause severe psychological distress. It’s no wonder then that quarantine and social distancing measures have taken a toll on people’s mental health.
Experts have predicted a rise in stress and anxiety levels all around the world since the pandemic started, and as a result companies have experienced a decline in work productivity among employees.
In order to tackle the issue that may be long-term due to the uncertainty of the ongoing situation, here’s something we can all practice to improve our mental wellbeing, and in turn, work productivity: MINDFULNESS.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of your current surroundings and focus on the present without judgement. It’s essentially a method of relaxation that stops you from overthinking about the past or the future.
Benefits of Mindfulness
1. Reduce Stress
Research from Davis & Hayes has shown that practicing mindfulness can significantly reduce stress levels. Excessive worrying, lack of judgement, feeling easily irritable and depressed, lethargy and insomnia are just some of the symptoms of stress that can impact work productivity. With mindfulness meditation, we can feel more relaxed and in control of our emotions. This helps us to manage our stress better as well.
2. Enhance Focus
You may have been getting distracted easily from working at home, what with the hundred and one possible interferences: family members asking for help, your children vying for your attention, snacks in the fridge, your phone, or maybe your bed. Mindfulness aids in developing better focus by training our brain and ability to stay focused on the task at hand, thus improving concentration.
3. Improve Cognition
Did you know mindfulness can improve neural connections? Studies have reported that mindfulness can be associated with a boost in working memory and creativity. Being able to sustain attention and having a stable mindset helps us brainstorm and come up with ideas (especially for that proposal that you really need to work on for your company).
How to Practice Mindfulness?
Now that we know what mindfulness is and its benefits, how do we adopt it? According to mindfulness.org, it’s as simple as these steps below:
1. Sit/lie down comfortably. Find somewhere you can concentrate.
2. Be aware of your position. Take notice of what your ams, legs are doing and how your posture is! Relax.
3. Soften your gaze/close your eyes. What’s important is to not focus on whatever’s in front of you.
4. Focus on your breathing. Truly pay attention to the physical sensation of your breathing: the rise and fall of your chest and belly; how the air goes in and out of your mouth and nostrils - this is the present.
5. Notice when your mind wanders. Try to return your focus to your breathing. However, if you’re not able to, practice observing your thoughts, as if you’re seeing them from a third person’s view, without reacting.
6. Lift your gaze/open your eyes when you’re ready. Notice your surroundings, and how you feel physically and mentally.
7. Write it down in your journal. Note down and reflect on your whole experience.
Now that you know a little more about mindfulness, it would be good to take a few minutes each day to practice it for overall mental and physical health.
With a healthy body and healthy mind, it will be easier to focus on what you need to!