What is Mindfulness?
‘Mindfulness’ is a hot topic at the moment and there was a great article on Tami and Paul Roos in the recent BOSS magazine on how they have taken their experience with meditation and mindfulness to the footy field and the boardroom.
In brief, mindfulness is about self-awareness, enhanced emotional intelligence, and effectively handling painful thoughts and feelings. For many of us mindfulness has only recently been embraced but it is an ancient practice found in a wide range of Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga. Mindfulness involves consciously bringing awareness to your ‘here-and-now’ experience with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a world authority on the use of mindfulness training in the management of clinical problems, defines it as: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”. Mindfulness is about waking up, connecting with ourselves, and appreciating the fullness of each moment of life. Kabat-Zinn calls it, “The art of conscious living.” It is a profound way to enhance psychological and emotional resilience, and increase life satisfaction.
With the likes of Tami and Paul Roos talking openly about it and having witnessed the culture and success that they have created in their chosen fields only validates its potential in the workplace.
“We used to have a saying at Sydney that we not only wanted to make them better players, we wanted to make them better people” Paul Roos.
Experts increasingly recognise that developing mindfulness skills is an effective way to improve performance, reduce stress, enhance emotional intelligence, increase life satisfaction, and develop leadership skills.
Mindfulness skills provide many benefits, including the ability to reduce stress, rise above self-limiting beliefs, improve focus, develop self-awareness, facilitate calmness, and handle difficult emotions such as frustration, resentment, boredom and anxiety.
Practising mindfulness helps you:
- to be fully present, here and now
- to experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings safely
- to become aware of what you’re avoiding
- to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
- to increase self-awareness
- to become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences
- to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
- to have more balance, less emotional volatility
- to experience more calm and peacefulness
- to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
Benefits of Mindfulness in Life and Work
- improve focus and concentration
- increase self-awareness
- reduce the impact and influence of stressful thoughts and feelings
- facilitate better relationships
- catch self-defeating behaviours, and substitute more effective ones
- become aware of self-defeating thought processes, and ‘let them go’
All of this boils down to 3 major benefits: improved performance, reduced stress, and greater satisfaction in work and life.