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Companies should be mindful of Mindfulness in the Workplace

Making a living has its upside. It can be rewarding in that it builds assertiveness and confidence and helps employees build new skills. It also surely reduces financial stresses because an income is generated. With a demanding job comes stress, exhaustion and a sense of living without balance. Having no work means no income which means a whole lot of other stresses that come into play.

Mother Teresa said: “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” But we live in an age where we are bombarded with technology and information, it becomes difficult to ‘stop and smell the roses’ so to speak. Mindfulness helps you to redirect your focus to the here and now. Mindfulness in the workplace can help employees to relax, positively deal with conflict, reduce their stress levels, and assist with prioritizing which ultimately improves their focus and productivity.

Because of a huge increase in self-harm among school goers, the British government realised the importance of early Mindfulness at school level already. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) one in four employees have been diagnosed with depression. Various studies have shown that finances and work are the biggest cause of stress in South Africa. If you think about it, these two aspects ultimately can affect a person’s quality of life.

Throughout The Mindspa Institute’s years of teaching stress management to a variety of working professionals many said that they have to take time off work due to stress-related issues while some said they the reason for attending the course was that they don’t feel they are managing their stress in an effective way. Because of increased depression, anxiety, stress and various other mental issues among people, this has detrimental effects on society and the economy.

Fortunately, with teaching Mindfulness in the Workplace, it’s possible to avoid major issues. Practicing Mindfulness techniques will help employees focus on the present moment. It will assist them to think before they act, to communicate better and can increase empathy levels and emotional intelligence. If they are taught skills on how to calm down and think clearer before, say for example, writing an email out of anger, they will in turn combat future anxiety and self-doubt. Being Mindful will also increase employee creativity, because certain techniques allow them to think and to become aware of things around them. To focus on the present moment or to day dream, opens your mind and allows you to think clearer and more objectively.

Sharon Salzberg said that “Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it.”

It should be a Company responsibility to create awareness of the importance of Mindfulness in the office and introduce skills training so employees can incorporate it into their workplace wellness. Mindfulness should be a habit that everyone purposefully practices on a daily basis.