As a mindfulness consultant, I have had the privilege to work with professionals in corporations, healthcare and universities. Through the design and delivery of customized mindfulness programs, I have helped hundreds of individuals, teams, and leaders to manage stress and increase productivity.
Recently, I taught Mindful Resilience at Work to Organizational Development and Leadership students at Saint Joseph’s University. This masters level ODL program trains professionals to skillfully take proactive roles in organizations, promoting the evolution of teams and leaders.
Meet me at the intersection of mindfulness and resilience.
What does it look like when we meet at the intersection of mindfulness and resilience in the workplace? Let’s start by taking a look at what mindfulness is, what resilience is, and how the two combine to increase focus and productivity.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness frequently appears in popular press. Let’s alleviate any misunderstandings by taking a moment to clarify what it is. I had the opportunity to study with Jon Kabat-Zinn who has done considerable work to bring mindfulness into our world. I like his definition:
Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.
Google, Intel, Aetna, and General Mills have mindfulness at work programs that are well integrated into corporate culture. Mindfulness-based practices have been explored by ongoing research for over two decades. Workplace mindfulness supports healthy changes in employees, including:
improved coping skills with stress.
strengthened problem-solving abilities.
improved job satisfaction.
What is resilience?
Resilience is the acquired ability to regularly recover, adapt, and grow from stress. We all easily manage and recover from what we perceive as minor stressors. It is the ongoing and significant stressors that weigh us down and interfere with focus and productivity.
What is Mindful Resilience?
Mindful resilience is the interfusion of mindfulness and resilience practices. Mindfulness increases awareness and present moment orientation, thereby reducing habitual stress reactivity. Integrating mindfulness practices into your work increases your resilience. It’s a bit like finding the eye of the storm. You become stronger when caught in the squall of stress and with practice can mindfully navigate towards the eye of the storm, feeling more calm and centered.
Finding the Eye of the Storm
The next time you feel caught in the storm of stress at work, remember that developing mindful resilience skills is empowering. You can skillfully build your resilience by balancing work stress with mindful recovery practices. Intentional application of mindful resilience at work strategies empowers employees, teams, leaders and organizations to be on top of their game.