I was recently asked to interview for a company (Adlib) blog based on "work and life balance". Here it is:
ADLIB: Let’s start with ‘Why’, how do you think can mindfulness help with workplace stress?
People work most effectively when they have good focus, which requires a clear mind, so one can move the attention effectively from one task to the next, and with an overview of the whole purpose. This requires a balance of attention.
21st Century education and society has filled our waking moments with busy-ness of pinging smartphones, marketing, unreasonable expectations and endless information. The modern worker is lost in a world of confusion and therefore mentally creates stress - a mind full of ‘stuff’, instead of clarity, focus and balance. Anxiety, burn out and apathy are the inevitable result and businesses foot the bill for recovery.
Mindfulness is both preventative medicine and helps people to ‘hit reset’ when they’ve gotten themselves into a hole; to pause and reflect, connecting with what is simply beautiful - the experience of being here and now. This is the beginning of awareness, acknowledgement and appreciation, which allows us to refocus, as a clear and balanced choice.
The how is simple - make space for learning, practice and for integration of ‘moments’ within the fabric of the way we work and interact. Mindful communication quickly follows mindful self-awareness. Inspiration keeps it moving
ADLIB: Can you share 3 pieces of wisdom or mindful exercises that one could introduce into their daily routine as an employee or as a manager?
Neil Morbey: Yes.
ADLIB: In your opinion, how can mindfulness improve the way that people work?
It allows us to move our attention from one thing to another with more ease, and therefore let go of resentment and speak more assertively and compassionately. At the end of the day it allows us to shift modes and leave work at the office so we can balance our lives and manage our ‘human’ priorities. This will help us feel that work is not a chore, but a nourishing activity that is integrated with our lives. People who feel in control of our lives worry less and are more productive, with less passive aggression. It also opens us up to creative possibility. We become more positive in our outlook, which drives innovation and inspiration.
ADLIB: How can mindfulness be reinforced consistently in the workplace and be made a priority?
The leaders must first recognise the importance of mental health in their duty of care. However mindfulness cannot be forced on employees, it must be inspired. So I think the best way is to involve people in that question and to bring in people that can inspire. Regular refreshment of inspiration is key to keeping the practices fresh and ‘reminding us of why, and with new styles of ‘how’. No one wants to repeat the same stuff every single day. Ultimately every individual is responsible for themselves, but it usually takes a few to lead the way and create momentum.
If that’s you, reading this, I suggest practising what Gandhi preached: Be the change you want to see in the world. Be vocal about it and enjoy it. When others hear and see you you’ll be giving them permission to do it too, because you show it’s possible, fun and the risk is worth it. Encourage them and get the ball rolling. Leaders inspire the people around them. Be the change.
About Neil Morbey: Neil specialises in helping people become emotionally resilient and work with schools, businesses and individuals to facilitate people to find their sense of happiness, confidence and connection.
More information via the positive-mindful (LINK http://www.positively-mindful.com/) website.
Adlib: Creating teams. Shaping futures. https://www.adlib-recruitment.co.uk/blog/
Neil Morbey is a meditation teacher, group facilitator and inspiration guide for Positively-Mindful.com