Mindfulness is the new yoga
Meditation and mental wellbeing are now taught in our schools. So, what can it offer in the workplace for you, your colleagues and your clients?
Gelong Thubten has been a Tibetan Buddhist monk for more than 20 years. He teaches monthly classes at Google’s headquarters in Dublin and says there are three ways that mindfulness can help you at work.
Thubten says it does more than help people manage their stress – it transforms how they deal with it. “You’re going for a deeper approach,” he says, “because you look at how to get the mind to let go of stressful thinking.”
Mindfulness does more than help people manage stress – it transforms how they deal with it.
But in high-energy working environments, an experiential marketing agency for example, is there ever a benefit to stress? “That adrenaline can get people going,” says Thubten. “But the problem is that if you live on that, you are flooding your body with stress hormones all day, and you become exhausted, age faster and get ill. It does make people achieve, but it’s is not sustainable.”
Stress in the workplace has been found to reduce mental ability. Thubten claims people who practice mindfulness can achieve more than adrenaline-junkies. That’s because they are more aware and “don’t miss a beat”.
A study found that those who had done an eight-week mindfulness meditation course were less likely to switch between tasks and showed improved memory.
Regular practice brings “a greater sense of focus, non-distraction and concentration,” says Thubten – all things that will improve work performance.
Compassion and Empathy
“Compassion and empathy are so important because of all the conflicts, judgements and irritations that go on in the workplace and in life,” explains Thubten. “If you can engage in meditation practice and learn how to develop a more positive attitude towards others, it has amazing benefits.”
A sense of tolerance and non-prejudice are essential for any workplace to function.
Thubten recommends 15-20 minutes of meditation a day, but also to integrate it into everyday life.
It’s not about locking yourself in a quiet room to still your mind. It can be done at your desk, in a meeting or going home on the train. At these times, you can learn to connect to the present moment and to de-stress.
Mindful meditation – give it a go.
The George P. Johnson Australian family practices mindful mediation weekly in our Darlinghurst headquarters.
Or talk to your local council about joining a meditation group.
Jayne Cook – Executive Producer