It’s Monday morning. You walk into the office. The phone is already ringing, the email inbox is filling, and you walk by your mail slot and see mail billowing out of the box. A coworker sees you in the hall and stops to ask you, ‘just a quick question.’ You return to your desk and open your calendar to see you only have 30 minutes before the first of four back-to-back meetings. You know now that all hope for managing your workload for the day appears lost.
Right then you notice that your shoulders get tight, your stomach clenches, and an overwhelming desire to leave and take a permanent vacation fills you.
According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace study, 70 percent of people are disengaged from their jobs. Gallup estimates that this is the status quo and contributes to a lack of economic growth, costing the U.S. between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity each year. The social costs are even harder to measure. The single greatest contributor to chronic illness is prolonged stress. The leading source of stress is primarily stress at work that can feel dehumanizing and makes your work feel meaningless.
It is time to give yourself, your employees, and colleagues permission to create a new consciousness in business. Where ‘meaningless’ can become ‘mindful.’ Mindful means many things to different people. In essence, mindfulness is to be present without any judgment to what is happening in that exact moment.
The practice of mindfulness in business creates a clear vision for both short-term and long-term profitability and the overall happiness of those who work in and with your company and/or business.
Here are the ABCs you can choose to become mindful even on the most stressful day.
Accept the authenticity of your feelings in the moment. Feel your feelings fully. Allow yourself to recognize how you feel without self-judgment for having those feelings. Ask for help. Don’t assume people around you are too busy or unwilling to help. Asking for assistance from another might just empower them to demonstrate their value by lending a hand.
Breathe in and out. Focus on feeling the air come in your nose and out your mouth. Repeat this several times. This can center your energy and intention back on what is truly important.
Choose compassion toward yourself. You wouldn’t demean or put someone else down for struggling. So, why would you do that to yourself? When you take a moment to realize just how wonderful, capable, and amazing you really are, you inspire others to show compassion toward themselves.
Mindfulness does not have to be difficult; it can be quite easy and become a regular way of being with practice. I encourage you to select one of these practices, and try it once each day. Then observe the positive results that come.
America’s largest companies are beginning to incorporate the practice of mindfulness. These companies include SalesForce, Target, Proctor & Gamble, and Google to name a few. Mindfulness contributes to the productivity and profitability of these organizations. Choose one practice for a month and let me know how it works for you.