Mindfulness Is a Crucial Business Skill, Thanks to the Pandemic

“Meditate” by RelaxingMusic is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0“Meditate” by RelaxingMusic is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The pandemic changed how the whole world works. A work from home lifestyle has become the norm and the business and HR world now consider well-being and mindfulness to be their primary focus.

One of the major challenges to ensure well-being in a virtual environment is to judge the happiness levels of people. When they’re in the office, you can pick up on subtle cues that tell you a lot about how a person feels. You could talk to coworkers to solve your problems.

In the virtual world, it’s certainly difficult, if not impossible. I’ve seen these challenges first-hand in my workplace. The increased focus on well-being has to do much with the rise in mental health issues in the workplace.

To most of us, it doesn’t come as a surprise. While work-from-home has the benefit of working from your pajamas or from the beach, it’s not all roses.

There’s always an urge to refresh your email, check messages or think about the project due next week. Our office environments aren’t helping either — people expect you to be available on messages “just in case” shit hits the proverbial fan — which, let’s be honest, almost never does.

In fact, an article published in VerywellMind says that 41 percent of “highly mobile” employees (those who more often worked from home) considered themselves highly stressed as well, compared to only 25 percent of those who worked only on-site.

To tackle these issues, business leaders and employees around the world turn to mindfulness.

A Crucial Business Skill

Creativity, clarity, and calmness are one of the most desired skills in business. And if there’s one practice best suited to develop all those skills (and many more), it’s mindfulness.

Mindfulness is now seen as a crucial skill in business. According to Loredana Popasav, transformative coach at The Simplified Mind, the business world today is where the sports world was a few decades ago — starting to become aware of the importance of mental wellbeing and to acknowledge that an employee’s mental state influences their performance and outcome.

By now everyone has figured out that clarity plays a huge role in business. That we’re all after the same thing — a happy and calm life along with success at work. And that all these things are achievable with a little practice of mindfulness.

It Teaches Us Calm Acceptance

Since most stress during these times is caused by “change”, we all need to learn how to accept it and move on. This is where mindfulness stepped in as a means to understand and accept the present, to live our personal and professional lives under a new paradigm.

When housework mixes with office work, the boundary between our personal and professional lives disappears. Mixing personal chores with tight deadlines isn’t exactly a routine we were used to. Running from one meeting to another — even if they’re virtual — while the kids are running around the house means that everyone needs a new mindset.

And who’s to say that this is the last change in the workplace. There will be major changes going forward. Today it’s the pandemic, tomorrow it’ll be the advent of AI and it will be something else the day after.

Instead of adapting to one specific situation, we need to be okay with things changing faster than us. To see change as an opportunity for growth and not stress is the goal.

Mindfulness trains our acceptance muscles starting from accepting everything at this moment. With regular training, it becomes a part of your mindset and personality. This, more than anything else, is what we need to succeed in the new world.

It Teaches Us Awareness

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray

You can’t solve a problem you’re not aware of. By establishing a practice of regular meditation, even with 5 minutes, twice a day, you see the areas that need work. You can identify your toxic work habits to work more efficiently and also handle stress responses effectively.

Once you identify what causes you to sink deeper into your mental illness, whether it’s anxiety, depression, or even substance abuse, you can approach your problem with an informed mindset and position yourself above it when you feel yourself slipping.

Mindfulness gives you this awareness. It makes you curious about your mind. You start questioning “Why am I feeling like this right now?” The answers to these questions have the key to your growth.

It Adds Time To Our Days

When most of us are struggling to meet deadlines, we could benefit from some extra time in our hands, right?

Well, as they say, there will always be 24 hours in the day. But what you can do, is change your perception of how long those hours are. How? By being mindful.

Think about the last time you stood in the queue. Specifically, think just before you felt the uncomfortable sensation that you avoided by pulling your phone out.

Didn’t time seem to slow down? I bet you were wondering why it’s taking so long. Yet, when you looked at your watch, only 2 minutes had passed. Whereas to you, it felt more like 10 or 20.

The point is this — **the more we slow down to focus on the present, the more time slows down for us. **The higher your awareness of the present, the more your subjective perception of time is altered.

This higher awareness can be cultivated using a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices. Researchers have also found that meditators are able to make a distinction between ‘self-duration’ and ‘world-duration’ that shifts how they see Time.

Once you feel time slowing down, you become more efficient. Your concentration increases and you’re able to finish your work sooner. And it feels great to shut off in the evening to do the thing you love.

It Teaches Us to Build Better Boundaries

As you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings you notice the things you need to lead a happy life. Often we say yes to everything that comes our way and burn out.

Many of us feel we need to work the long hours or to be available 24/7 to get ahead. Why? Because we don’t have a strong internal compass of what will make us happy. Only once you know what your tolerance levels are, you can be comfortable in saying no to others without feeling insecure.

Instead, first understand what you need to lead a healthy, and mindful life. This will give you a sense of security. From security comes the confidence to say no and set the right boundaries.

Final Thoughts

The pandemic flamed the fire of mindfulness that was already spreading around the world. And it comes when we most need it.

The world is changing, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Instead of wasting time in front of Netflix or going for medications, try to meditate for a few minutes every day.

The awareness that comes with meditation is like a sword of discrimination that helps you cut through false realities and realize your true nature.

We need mindfulness training to perform at our best in our personal and professional lives. And its importance is only going to grow. The only question is are you going to jump on the train or not?

Struggling to meditate? Get your free 7 Day email course — Meditation 101: How to Start Meditating

Written on April 13, 2021