- The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
- A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness is a word we hear tossed around often these days. A discipline used in hospitals, schools, prison systems, and more and more frequently – the workplace. Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of being more fully present in what is happening around you. Focusing on the present moment and not dwelling on the past or future, or if something is good or bad. It can help us cope with everyday life and increase our resilience, with benefits to both our physical and mental well- being.
We all know work can be stressful, and that balancing a career, home, family, and friends can feel overwhelming at times. How can we focus at work, with so many other competing interests? Studies have shown that there are very real benefits to employing mindfulness in the workplace. In addition to stress reduction, mindfulness has been shown to help optimize productivity, increase clarity and focus, reduce stress, and improve memory.
But how do you do it? How exactly does one put it into practice? The good news is that achieving a state of mindfulness is something everyone can develop, but we have to work at it. One way to practice is through meditation. Even ten to twenty minutes a day can have a positive effect. A recent Harvard study proved that daily meditation can rebuild the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. [In case you need a refresher: Grey matter includes the regions of the brain involved in muscle control, and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making, and self-control.] So yeah – kind of important.
One of the wonderful things about being a member of The Riveter is that we are committed to combining women, work, and wellness under one roof. More than a co-working space, we want you to take care of your mind and body. We’ve made it easy by offering yoga on site three times a day, and we have our own meditation room available for anyone to use, at any time. Consider combining ten to twenty minutes of meditation before participating in a yoga session. If you haven’t been downstairs to see our room, go check it out.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, there are several great resources available. I’ve attached a few to get you started. And of course, there’s always an app. I recently downloaded Headspace, an app for newbies that has ten-minute meditation exercises. And it’s free! I’ll admit that I’m only seven days into this process, and while I’ve not noticed an increase in my brain’s grey matter… yet, I will admit to feeling calmer and more relaxed after spending ten minutes meditating in a quiet space. Give it a try, and remember to stick with it – it gets easier over time.