Source | LinkedIn : By Neil Copping
Between answering emails, checking Whatsapp, paying for the coffee you just ordered and worrying about that unexpected meeting you have with your boss in an hour, it almost impossible to be present in the moment. Constant rush increases stress, and stress is very detrimental, to both our personal and professional lives.
We are not our thoughts
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor emeritus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School defined mindfulness as: “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.”
Another good definition comes from Ronald Siegel, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and the author of The Mindfulness Solution:
“Mindfulness is awareness of present experience with acceptance.”
Mindfulness was once considered a trendy Eastern movement in the Western world, but the truth is, the principles of mindfulness are now being incorporated into science, medicine and workplace, and for a good reason too.
“Mindfulness practice brings all sorts of insights into the workings of the mind. Perhaps the hardest to grasp is the idea that thoughts are not reality. We’re so accustomed to providing a narrative track to our lives and believing in our story that to see things otherwise is a real challenge,” The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems
Mindfulness at work
How many times did you work on several different things at the same time without noticing anything around you? How many times did you have the feeling you forgot to breathe because of the amount of work you have? This is working definition of stress at work. A simple exercise to begin practicing mindfulness or being present at this very moment is to sit quietly and focus on your breathing for at least two minutes.
In the last decade, mindfulness has been used inside companies to lower health costs, improve employee productivity, reduce employee stress through a combination of breathing techniques and mental relaxation. Being present in the moment helps employees stay “on task.”
Office workers are interrupted or self-interrupted every three minutes during the day, according to Gloria Mark, professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine.