Mindfulness is a practice of cultivating awareness. This cumulative practice enables mental clarity to notice thoughts, feelings and possibilities in the present moment. Mindfulness enhances discernment; giving rise to conscious, considered choices.
The ‘power of the pause’ is developed through Mindfulness, as micro-moments of time and space are seized to grow awareness.
Benefits of Mindfulness for the Individual
Mindfulness has the potential to liberate the individual from fixed, limited and habitual mental patterns and processing. With commitment to practice, personal perspectives expand, resulting in greater self-efficacy, creativity and resilience.
A key benefit of a committed Mindful practice is insight … ‘waking up’ by refreshing attention regularly to notice what is true, necessary and kind. Automatic reactions to stressors can be replaced with careful responses to serve the self, enhance performance and connect to others. Mindfulness practices nurture health and wellbeing, as energy is conserved and directed to positive applications in work and life.
Mindfulness is a tool to maximize inner resources and enhance empathic and compassionate connection with others.
Benefits of Mindfulness for the Workplace:
Evidence exists that Mindfulness is reaching a ‘tipping point’ globally.
The cover of ‘Time’ magazine this year heralded a ‘Mindful Revolution’. At the World Economic Forum over 25 Mindfulness workshops were sold out. Over 300,000 peer reviewed scientific research papers showing the benefits of mindfulness have been published by universities such as UCLA, Harvard, Oxford and Monash. Mindfulness programs are used in Google, Facebook, Nike and a rapidly growing number of companies, in the British parliament, state-owned enterprises in China, UN organizations and the World Bank.
Research indicates that Mindfulness enhances performance and productivity, reduces stress and burnout, reduces absenteeism and organisational costs, and energizes corporate culture.
It is said that ‘two minds are better than one’. Workplaces, therefore, can be perceived as a ‘talent bank’!
Possibilities abound with a collective Mindful practice in the workplace. Benefits flow through to build staff connectedness, team work and boost morale. A culture of co-operation and collaboration can emerge. Fertile ground is laid for lateral, creative thinking and positive initiatives.
What is the difference between meditation and Mindfulness?
The November 2014 edition of ‘Scientific American’ cover feature is ‘The Neuroscience of Meditation: How it changes the brain, boosting focus and easing stress’. 15 years of research demonstrate that contemplative practices have a substantive impact on biological processes critical for physical health.
A meditation practice supports the application of Mindfulness in daily life. It can be seen as a scheduled ‘mental rehearsal’ to heighten awareness. Meditation practices fine-tune and enrich neural connections in the frontal cortex of the brain, supporting the ability to sustain attention and choose wisely.
The potential of the mind is nurtured in the meditation practice. In the words of Claude Adrien Helvetius: “Genius is nothing but continued attention”.
Meditation is a gift to mind, body and spirit. Energy is restored, mental clarity and focus is sharpened, as all the systems of the body naturally and effortlessly return to a state of balance and homeostasis.
HSG Stress Management and Meditation Expert