A Move towards Mindfulness in the Workplace

With new technologies contributing towards an ever increasing pace of life, stress in the workplace is constantly on the rise.  This is perhaps why a new trend known as “mindfulness” is now gaining popularity in major corporations such as Google, Apple, Nike and Target. 

In the article below, mindfulness is described as deliberately taking the time to slow down and focus on the reality of what’s happening in the moment.  Studies have proven that this approach actually does help to reduce stress, improve productivity and happiness in general. 

It’s no surprise that digital communication in all its forms is beginning to impact society in a negative way – time spent communicating online is time away from the real world and possibly also the chance to engage in more personal and meaningful interactions. And the fact that most digital platforms are also mobile only makes matters worse. It raises the question whether there should perhaps be an active drive towards spending as much time away from e-mail and social media sites as possible. Perhaps even switching your mobile devise off when possible and genuinely taking the time to appreciate the simpler aspects of life.

What are your thoughts on how to address additional stress brought about by the digital age? 

Mindfulness in the workplace on the rise

The original article on this subject can be found here

Workplace stress and general anxiety has become far more prevalent with the increase in technology, digital communication and a change in attitudes towards our work life.

Dr Stephen McKenzie, author of Mindfulness at Work, says that unhealthy, longer term stress has become a large part of our lives. Stress and anxiety has a tendency to interfere with decision making, creativity and productivity. "The more stressed we are the less we produce, it's a paradox because if we think that we try harder and harder we'll produce more but that's not actually the case," Dr McKenzie says. Not only does ongoing stress lead to a range of psychological and physical problems, it can also impact on our social lives. 

Living a fast paced, unbalanced life can often lead to a disconnection from people around us. Dr McKenzie says that a crucial part in addressing stress is understanding what is important to us. When we are stressed it's harder to tune into what is good for us or what we truly value in life. "When we're not getting enough out of life, when we're not really experiencing life deeply, we look to get those experiences in other ways." "Addiction and substance abuse is not just things like alcohol and drugs, we can be addicted to success or working too much."

Mindfulness in the form of meditation, 'observational thinking' or simply slowing down are becoming mainstream approaches to managing stress. Large corporations such as Google, Apple, Nike and Target are encouraging its staff to practice mindfulness at work. "Mindfulness is all about the reality of what's happening here and now, so if we just pause to come back to our senses, back to reality, that's all we really need to do," Dr McKenzie explains.

Studies show that practicing mindfulness helps reduce stress, improve productivity and increase general happiness in the corporate world. Mindfulness at Work by Dr Stephen McKenzie is out next week. You can hear him speak more about mindfulness and stress with the ABC's Glenn Barndon. 

-Jane Kennedy, Geoff Cannon, Glenn Barndon