– understand the importance of awareness and attention
– learn the benefits of mindfulness at work
– be able to apply mindful practices in your daily life
Mindfulness suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.
Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.
1) Approach everyday things with curiosity and savour them.
2) Forgive their mistakes – big or small.
3) Show gratitude for good moments.
4) Practice compassion and nurture connections.
5) Make peace with imperfection – inside and out.
6) Embrace vulnerability by trusting others and themselves.
7) Accept and appreciate that things come and go.
Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways. Your personal circumstances should dictate what works for you. There is no single right way to do it.
Not so. In fact, practicing mindfulness outside of meditation is a major part of the practice. People are encouraged to walk mindfully, eat mindfully, and to do their chores mindfully. Practicing mindfulness in this way not only heightens awareness of every activity, but it also gives you insight into how your mind works.
While the benefit of increasing the ability to concentrate and focus can come from your mindfulness meditation practice, it is certainly not about focusing and concentration. Remember, mindfulness is about cultivating awareness.
There’s no belief system connected to mindfulness, even though it was originally taught by the Buddha. It’s a technique for enriching your life by learning how to fully engage your moment-to-moment experience.
Mindfulness can be used in a relatively passive way—to rest and calm the mind—and this has many documented health benefits, from relieving stress to lowering blood pressure. But mindfulness can also be used as a wisdom or insight practice, providing invaluable information about how your mind works.
Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. The biggest challenge can be remembering to be mindful! It does get easier with practice, because you’re developing a habit.
To foster a culture of innovation, leaders need to give greater attention to the mindset of their employees and consider introducing mindful practice throughout their organizations. By cultivating opportunities where employees are encouraged to think outside the box, they move past a mere focus on organizational efficiencies and develop new ways of working together to foster creative thinking and decision-making.
Companies like Google, Apple and McKinsey offer corporate-based mindfulness programs to strengthen their employee’s emotional intelligence and well-being. Other firms are jumping on the bandwagon and following suit to develop their own program to integrate mindfulness into their culture.
Why is it Important?
We all have peaks and valleys of energy and productivity, what the renowned psychologist and sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman called circadian (daily) and ultradian (shorter, sometimes hourly) rhythms.
Paying attention to when we’re most energized and alert, as well as when we need to take a mental break, allows us to do our best work.
Mind training can nurture key areas within the creative process.
Research suggests that people who practice mindfulness have more cognitive flexibility (Moore & Malinowski, 2009), are able to see beyond what they’ve already done before, and are better at solving problems requiring insight (Ostafin & Kassman, 2012).
This facilitates what creativity experts refer to as the incubation and insight stages within the creative process (Csikszentmihaly, 1996). Mindfulness requires time and attention, or conscious non-attention, to the problem at hand to help turn off the “autopilot” driving our thoughts and actions.
When a mindful person is working on a creative task, they are able to focus their attention fully on the problem, then step away to focus fully on something unrelated. This shift of attention allows for ideas to incubate and a creative insight to develop.
1) Mindful Breathing
2) Mindful Observation
3) Mindful Awareness
4) Mindful Listening
5) Mindful Immersion
6) Mindful Appreciation
These exercises can easily be slotted in while you go about your everyday business, without the need for a formal sit-down meditation session.
With regular practice of mindfulness exercises, rather than being led on auto-pilot by emotions influenced by negative past experiences and fears of future occurrences, we harness the ability to root the mind in the present moment and deal with life’s challenges in a clear-minded, calm, assertive way.
In turn, we develop a fully conscious mind-set that frees us from the imprisonment of unhelpful, self-limiting thought patterns and enables us to be fully present to focus on positive emotions that increase compassion and understanding in ourselves and others.
If you’d like to watch it later, you can find the link in the Additional Material section.
See more about Mindfulness: The Art Of Mindfulness: Why Mindfulness Matters