What Is Mindfulness and Why Is It Important?
Mindfulness, in the simplest of terms, is the act of being fully present in the moment. You are fully aware of how you are feeling and what you are doing without feeling overwhelmed about what is going on around you. While everyone has the ability to be mindful, it is more complicated to stay mindful than most people think. It can be easy to let our mind wander, causing us to get stressed about the past or future and lose touch with our bodies, as well as our health. Research has discovered that practicing mindfulness is beneficial for both your mental and physical health because it can relive stress and anxiety, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic aches and pains, improve your mood and creativity, and help you to create stronger connections with family and friends. Additional studies have also showed that mindfulness helps significantly in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even couples’ conflicts.
Mindfulness and Employee Well-Being
Mental health is becoming an increasingly more important component of wellness programs and offering mindfulness training, tools, and resources is a great way to support your employee mental health initiative. By implementing mindfulness based programs, you are offering a holistic wellness approach that benefits both your employees and your organization in multiple ways:
- Employees’ overall wellness will improve and they will be more inclined to participate in your organization’s wellness program.
- Employees will learn how to better manage their stress, which will lead to lower stress levels and improved resilience both at work and in their personal lives.
- Because they are more focused and living life in the moment, employees will have more confidence, be more engaged, and will be able to make better decisions.
- Your organization will have a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce, which will help you retain top talent as well as make you competitive in attracting new talent.
- Your organization will notice less absenteeism and improved employee motivation.
- Morale, communication, and teamwork will improve across all levels of the organization.
Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Wellness Program
Now that you know the benefits of mindfulness, the next step is to actually incorporate mindfulness into your workplace wellness program. Listed below are a few steps you need to take!
- Introduce mindfulness in an organization wide meeting. Inform everyone on what exactly mindfulness is, what the benefits are, and how employees can take part. You also will want to make all the tools and resources related to mindfulness accessible in the office or on your online portal.
- Make mindfulness a part of the workplace. In all future meetings, take time to practice breathing exercises and let everyone de-stress, refocus, and get in the moment. You can also include meditation and yoga classes before or after work, or even during the second half of lunch breaks.
- Remember the power of leading by example. If you practice mindfulness and make it a part of your workday, employees will be sure to follow. Especially once they see the benefits first-hand.
For more information on mindfulness based programs and how to incorporate them, click here!