07 January 2019 by Tris Tolliday

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Burnout is a symptom born from modern life. Stress from tight deadlines, work commitments, and pressures from above and below can all create weight in the mind of employees.

While I do not claim to have any medical expertise, I have suffered from burnout, and I know too well that anxiety and depression can affect your ability to work, sleep, eat, and your social life.

Mindfulness is a relatively new concept, that incorporates the practices of meditation, but with a seeming willingness to steer clear of the “hippy vibes” image that is so commonly associated with its predecessor. It also aims to create awareness of ourselves and the world around us, and ultimately find an inner peace in the busy hubbub of modern life.

Technology, as increasingly seems to be the case, is here to help - with apps like Headspace, Calm, and Smiling Mind. These apps connect the general public and mindful gurus, providing an entry level experience to get people on the right track, and staying with them on their journey to an enlightened mind, which, as an aside, is creating a whole new industry, ripe for brands to get on board with.

Workplaces can benefit from offering mindfulness to its employees. Less stressed workers means less stress-related sick leave, more productive time in work, and more positive interactions between colleagues, all of which makes for more profitable workers. 

A recent trial by the College of Policing is funding more than 1,500 officers to combat stress-related sick leave1Early signs already show a lower burnout rate in participants who used mindful techniques.

It also may be worth taking mindfulness as a “fixer for all” with a tiny pinch of salt. While it has been shown to be useful for some, it may not be useful for everyone, as one professor explains: “There's encouraging evidence for its use in health, education, prisons and workplaces, but it's important to realise that research is still going on in all of these fields. Once we have the results, we'll be able to see more clearly who mindfulness is most helpful for.” 2

Mindfulness can come from many sources, whether you use an app, voice assistant (try hey google, talk to headspace), or even a pilates class, and has real tangible benefits for the right types of people.

Personally, I have found great comfort in using mindfulness; a mix of Headspace and regular Pilates classes has aided me with my mental wellbeing, and I truly believe that it has the power to help many people reduce the chaos in their minds.

We are trying Headspace here at GC every morning and will document how we get on. Results to come soon!

1 The Guardian [https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/13/and-breathe-police-try-mindfulness-to-beat-burnout]

NHS website [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/#is-mindfulness-helpful-for-everyone]