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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: July 21st, 2023

Do you find yourself having trouble focusing on the present moment? Do you find that your mind centers on past events or ideas for the future? Or perhaps you focus on random ideas, tales, or narratives that are not relevant to the current situation. It’s common to find yourself struggling with a full mind. As busy executives, the key is in how you handle this scenario. Mindfulness meditation is a proven technique that can help you change your full state of mind into one of mindfulness.

The good news is you can change your state of mind into a mindful one by taking the time and space to breathe, disconnect from your worries, and simply focus on the present.

Today, many influential leaders meditate to reap its various benefits. When you are mindful, you are conscious of your surroundings and how you influence others. You can be present in each moment as an observer and a participant while also understanding how your choices will affect others.

One key takeaway from practicing mindfulness meditation is better emotional intelligence and regulation skills. You will also be less inclined to respond rashly in the face of upsetting or emotionally intense circumstances leading to more rational decision-making and composure.

What is mindfulness meditation?

The practice of mindfulness can help to gradually rewire your mind which will enable you to be more present-focused. Being focused on the present moment helps to prevent you from reacting inappropriately or feeling overburdened in stressful circumstances.

Mindfulness meditation, which combines mindfulness with meditation, is a practice that entails being totally present in the here and now, in order to accept, understand, and appreciate your inner thoughts, feelings, and sensations without condemnation. The combination teaches you how to quiet your body and mind down, release any negativity, and fight brain fog.

In contrast to many other forms of meditation, mindfulness meditation does not require you to sit down and make time to practice it. You can include it in your daily activities like jogging, eating, or cooking. For instance, if you eat your food mindfully, you are concentrating all your attention on the sensations you feel during it. Moreover, you focus on the thoughts that enter your mind, as they are, without judging, controlling, or connecting with them.

How mindfulness meditation affects the mind and leadership mindset

Work can be demanding in today’s fast-paced and chaotic corporate world. You may have various business, personal, or spiritual goals to meet; insufficient time to complete work; and difficult individuals to interact with. As a result, your performance, relationships, and well-being may suffer. Hence, leaders must take care of themselves and learn how to concentrate on the right things.

Including mindful meditation in your lifestyle will help you feel less stressed, make better decisions, be more creative, and be emotionally prepared to cope with change. Not to mention, it can also physically alter the structure of your brain, improving the four competencies of emotional intelligence and making your brain stronger.

It teaches you to be mindful of the current moment while acknowledging and controlling your feelings and emotions, especially amid highly stressful events. As a result, you become better at displaying effective leadership by cultivating compassion for others, being more accepting of them, and fostering harmonious work situations.

Powerful Examples of Leadership Transformation in Executives

The outcomes of mindfulness meditation can vary from person to person. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand that mindfulness meditation is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a tool that can be used in different ways based on individual needs and circumstances.

Please have a look at these 5 examples:

1) Decision-Making Skills: A CEO of a startup company begins practicing mindfulness meditation daily. After several weeks, he notices a significant improvement in his decision-making skills. He attributes this to a clearer mind and an enhanced ability to focus, which allow him to analyze situations more effectively and make informed decisions quickly.

2) Emotional Intelligence: A team manager with a history of struggling with employee relationships incorporates mindfulness meditation into her routine. Over time, she notices an increase in her emotional intelligence, leading to better understanding and management of her team’s feelings and emotions. This results in improved team collaboration and morale.

3) Conflict Resolution: A department head in a large corporation starts to practice mindfulness meditation regularly. Over a period of several months, he finds he’s become more adept at conflict resolution. He attributes this to the improved ability to remain calm and composed, and to approach conflicts with a balanced and open mind.

4) Increased Empathy: A school principal, feeling overwhelmed with her responsibilities, begins mindfulness meditation. She experiences an increase in empathy over time, which improves her relationships with both students and staff. She becomes more effective in her role as she is able to understand and respond to the needs of her community better.

5) Resilience and Stress Management: A project manager, constantly facing high-pressure deadlines and stressed teams, starts practicing mindfulness meditation. She notices that not only has her own stress level decreased, but she also bounces back from setbacks more effectively. Her resilience inspires her team and creates a more positive work environment.

Mindfulness meditation at and outside of work

You may have procrastinated meditating due to a shortage of time or a lack of a peaceful atmosphere at work. However, you can easily achieve mindfulness meditation by following these simple steps.

5 minutes a morning

Does your mind start racing with thoughts regarding the worries of the upcoming day as soon as you wake up? Don’t rush yourself to begin the day; it will not help. Instead, take some time to yourself in bed and perform this technique to meditate mindfully:

Close your eyes, inhale deeply, and unwind. Feel your stomach growing and shrinking as well as your chest rising and falling. Be aware of the warmth leaving as the coolness enters with each breath. Follow the breath’s natural flow rather than try to regulate it. Shrug away everything that distracts you, but don’t be judgmental about it. Counting your breath can help you stay focused.

Switch yourself off

You might spend hours at work, but your productivity levels remain low throughout the day. Every time you sit down to work on an important task, your brain wanders off to think about the argument your employees just had. It’s impossible to give your best when you’re not focused.

When you experience that, switch yourself off for as short or long as possible.

Sit down and take a deep breath. Begin by focusing on your breathing pattern. Every time your mind gets distracted, bring it back to yourself. Enjoy this experience; don’t just do it for the sake of it. Consider this your “me time” during work. Don’t let anybody, not even yourself, snatch it away from you.

Practicing mindfulness at work will help you put your worries aside by calming down the fight-or-flight response and activating your brain’s executive function, which assists in rebalancing your nervous system and enables you to think through decisions rather than simply reacting to circumstances.

Think before you act

Another way to live in the moment is to break the patterns your brain is already wired to follow. For example, every time your phone rings, you quickly grab it to go through your newest notifications. That’s your brain’s immediate response to the situation.

At work or elsewhere, the next time your phone rings, stop yourself from unconsciously reaching out for it. Take a minute to bring your attention back to what you were doing before you heard the buzz. This will not only make you more mindful of your reactions, but it will also teach your brain to prioritize the task in the present without letting external distractions break your flow.

Practice acceptance

When facing a situation that has already happened, instead of acting aggressively, pause and try to accept it instead. Mindfulness meditation can help you recollect your thoughts before you lash out at an employee or feel frustrated with yourself. Rather, accepting the moment as it is can help you process your emotions better and analyze your mistakes well to avoid them in the future.

Final thoughts on mindfulness meditation in the workplace

Start adding one – or all – of these simple techniques into your daily work routine. With these simple mindfulness meditation practices, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more mindful leader. You’ll be able to manage your own emotional responses and guide your employees in a more calm and measured manner too.


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