How Mindfulness Could Change Your Career
If you feel unmotivated to the point where your career’s going nowhere, mindfulness can go a long way to helping you regain focus and reduce stress. What is mindfulness? At its simplest, this form of meditation can be described as “paying attention on purpose.” By learning to focus your thoughts, you can escape the cycle of jumping from one half-formed idea to the next, and gain some mental peace — good news for both your personal and professional life.
Here are three of the many ways in which adopting this effective form of meditation can improve your experiences at work, in both daily and long-term aspects.
Soothe Your Stress
Not only does stress make working life less pleasant over time, it can be very bad for your health. Three out of four healthcare expenses are related to stress, from high blood pressure to anxiety disorders, heart disease to sleep troubles.
Stress in the short term can help us focus and get things done, but it is bad news if you’re feeling constantly overwhelmed and thinking about work even when you’re at home. Adopting a mindful approach, and meditating as little as 15 minutes a day, can help put things into perspective as well as relax the body.
Let Creativity Flow
Practicing mindfulness places an emphasis on living and thinking in the present, not letting worrying thoughts about the future or past events to consume the mind and distract us from what needs to be done.
Being in the now will allow you to explore new and innovative ideas with an open mind, and increase your confidence in self-expression. A calm yet focused frame of mind should improve your productivity and work quality as other distractions will fade into the background.
Empathy for Fellow Employees
Consciously cultivating compassion and empathy for coworkers lays the groundwork for successful teamwork. Putting yourself into others’ shoes is an effective approach to problem-solving, and can be made easier through mindfulness. Tolerating viewpoints different from your own will make it so much easier for you to communicate openly with clients, co-workers, and managers — who may be bringing completely different life experiences to the table.
Compassion for yourself is also important. Don’t berate yourself if you’re not earning quite as much as you’d hoped (or deserve) at this career stage, or didn’t get a promotion this year. Being too hard on ourselves can be counter-productive and erode self-esteem. Recognize the contributions you make to the team and company, and accept the positive feedback that flows your way from others instead of dismissing it.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you practice mindfulness? Do you feel like it has improved your working life and career? Let us know about your experiences in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.