Introducing Ronan Campbell from Apollo Training, a mentor who will be helping Donegal Woman readers find motivation in life and learn to love their jobs.
‘At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.’ – Thich Nhat Hanh
Work can be challenging. It does not matter whether you love, like or hate your job, we can experience hard times. The most common reasons people find their job difficult include:
- Feeling overwhelmed by targets and new responsibilities.
- Feeling underavalued or unappreciated.
- Poor relationships with co-workers.
- Finding a work-home life balance.
These are challenges we all can face. However we don’t have to accept them as being part of the job. We can acknowledge these challenges (not problems) and change them for the better. Over the next few months I will look at techniques, practises and exercises (not always conventional) that will hopefully make work better. Today I would like to discuss mindfulness.
Work in the 21st Century can be hectic and frantic. Do you ever feel there is too much to do and not enough time? I think we all can from time to time.
Multi-tasking, numerous responsibilities, work politics and even personal worries can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Your mind goes into overdrive, you can’t think clearly and your stress level rises. When you feel like this mindfulness could help bring clarity and balance back.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness has its origins in Buddhism and has become very popular in western society. Celebrities who practice or practised mindfulness, include Oprah Winfrey, Goldie Hawn and Steve Jobs. The beauty of mindfulness is anyone, no matter your age, health or background can practice it.
Mindfulness is about becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings. It helps us live in the moment and stops us living in the past or worrying about the future.
What are the benefits?
Mindfulness can help with:
- Stress Management
- Lowering anxiety and blood pressure
- Improving decision making and strategic thinking
- Enhancing creativity
- Improving empathy
So what does it involve?
The main technique involved is meditation. This is simple to learn and is all about becoming aware of how you feel at that present moment. If you would like to do some research on the topic start by viewing the works of Thich Nhat Hanh online. The App “Mindspace”, which has over five million users, gives some great advice and tips.
Mindfulness groups are popping up all over the North West and will be able to help you learn how to meditate. However, if time is a problem, remember meditation can be fitted around your day. You can practice it walking at lunch, sitting at your desk, eating lunch or simply watching the world pass by. The same principles apply.
Other techniques that encourage mindfulness include practising gratitude before and after work, yoga and undertaking breathing exercises.
Does mindfulness work?
The biggest companies in the world think so. This is why Nike, Apple and General Mills have introduced mindfulness programs. General Mills found its incredibly successful and noticed 80 percent of staff reported positive change in their ability to make better decisions, while 89 percent stated that they had become better listeners.
Google, described as one of the best companies to work for, take mindfulness incredibly seriously. They have designed their own program called “Search Inside Yourself” and offer it to staff.
In Ireland, work place related stress is a main reason for sick leave. Stress is costing the economy millions but more importantly is damaging employees’ mental and physical health. Mindfulness programs could be the answer. The Transport for London introduced a mindfulness program and witnessed incredible results. The number of days taken off because of stress, anxiety and depression fell by 71%. So not only does it promote employee well-being but increase businesses profit.
The evidence looks promising and the growth in companies teaching the subject is encouraging.
Mindfulness could become essential training in the workplace but only time will tell. I have heard a few voices thinking it might be a bit early, however my view is it’s long overdue.
If you would like to discuss mindfulness, training or any other work related issue you can contact me through Apollo Training Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.