What is mindfulness? The American Psychological Association defines mindfulness as “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. It is a state and not a trait.” A mindful individual is fully present and aware of their surroundings and reactions to specific thoughts and situations. Mindfulness is not something people can be born with but instead attained through attentiveness and comprehension. By tending to your thoughts, emotions, and sensations, you can accurately identify your habits and prepare the necessary steps to improve job performance.
A lack of mindfulness presents a disconnected employee walking through their days on autopilot. In the absence of self-awareness, organization, and intentionality towards one’s mental health, employees are not only stunting growth potential but instituting a continuous cycle of detachment as well. Making a conscious effort to these three healthy habits will unify an increased sense of mindfulness and take your career to new heights!
The Quest For Self-Awareness
Being self-aware is a critical part of becoming more mindful, as it allows you to better understand how you fit into your environment. Stay alert of your surroundings; offering attention without personal bias enables you to see how your work affects others and how it makes you feel. As you improve your self-awareness, you will learn to properly assess your capabilities and know your limits. Self-awareness is not just about recognizing your weaknesses but knowing how to capitalize on your strengths as well.
Self-awareness is a continuous practice that often includes scheduling times to measure your progress and nurture your mind. This can be achieved through daily journaling or speaking with a mentoring figure. But remember, your quest will require you to take on some tough criticism with an open mind and a level of comfortability to examine your perpetual obstacles. Additionally, completing aptitude tests online or seeking performance reviews from your superiors or peers is another great tactic to initiating self-awareness.
Recognizing Organization as a Form of Self-Care
Are you putting your organizational skills into practice? Becoming more mindful is achieved by putting your self-care methods into practice, and one of the best strategies for your career is organization. Examples include maintaining a well-kept, uncluttered workspace and a structured calendar with blocks of time left open for mindfulness exercises such as journaling, walking, yoga, or meditation.
The Mindfulness and Wellness experts at Mindful.org proceed to expand on the connection between mindfulness and organization by detailing a self-care roadmap. The ‘activity list’ consists of various exercises and strategies written out to become more intentional in your self-care in your Workplace, Physical Fitness, Emotional Life, and Relationships. As you improve on your organization in these areas, you will find yourself to be more confident, energized, engaging, and patient in your career.
“Self-care means asking yourself what you need and following through on the honest answer.” (Mindful.org)
Prioritizing Mental Health Through Kindness
While mindfulness is recognized as just one outlet for enhancing your mental health, its connectivity to your thoughts, emotions, and sensations makes it a large piece of the puzzle. Humans are naturally wired to be kind, and being kind to others starts with being kind to yourself. When you act on your instincts to be compassionate and mindful of others, you are strengthening yourself and society. Tying into your surroundings, you must make yourself approachable to others and look out for their mental well-being. Studies have shown that providing social support to others often has more benefits to your physical and mental health than receiving it.
5 Ways To Improve Mindfulness
- Concentrated attention exercises on different objects such as the breath, bodily sensations, or the five senses.
- Concentrated attention exercises on body movements (e.g. mindful walking, mindful stretching, yoga)
- Enjoy the silence. Meditations that develop compassion for the self and others.
- Eliminate distractions to help avoid multitasking. Focusing on one task or project for a specific period helps to take a weight off your shoulders and pinpoint your attention.
- Pour yourself into your household chores wholeheartedly.
Remember that mindfulness is about showing yourself unconditional kindness during your highs and lows. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and relaxation, are proven to enhance moods and dramatically reduce daily stressors. These benefits offer a significant boost to career satisfaction and increased productivity. Erasing stress and worry is not the goal but rather a byproduct of your renewed confidence and elevated sense of purpose.
Stay Vigilant – Watch out for signs of a toxic work culture. Find your support group and keep looking to grow it! Don’t be afraid to allow people the chance to surprise you.
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