In today’s work world, we face multiple stress inducing demands and pressures as well as constant connectivity through smart phones, social media, and tablet computers. We are managing numerous fluctuating priorities, working with increased expectations, balancing competing demands for our personal and professional goals, and handling ongoing conflict and ambiguity in complex environments. Consulting firm AON Hewitt estimates that 35 percent of U.S. employers in 2013 offered stress-reduction programs to their employees, and that estimate is expected to grow (AON Hewitt, 2013). HR and talent management professionals are increasingly looking for ways to reduce employee stress, and many employers—like Google, Aetna, Target, and General Mills, to name a few—have found that introducing mindfulness into their workplace not only lowers employee stress, but improves focus, clarity of thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and more.
Mindfulness has roots that go back 2,500 years and uses an anchor—often breathing—to center attention and to bring awareness to the present moment (Stone, 2014). The goal of mindfulness practice is to “quiet the mind’s constant chattering—thoughts, anxieties, and regrets,” writes Frances Weaver for The Week. Mindfulness practitioners learn to focus on the present in everything they do and to accept events in the present moment (Weaver, 2014).
To read more about bringing mindfulness into your daily routine, check out UNC’s white paper on the topic.
Want to learn even more about Mindfulness? UNC Executive Development offers a 2-day workshop titled, “Intentional Leadership: Overcoming Barriers to Reach Your Full Potential”. Intentional leadership is a style of leadership that allows you to overcome these types of barriers, unleash your creativity, and reach your full potential as a leader.