Work has changed dramatically in recent years.

For many people, working under pressure has become the norm.

An endless to-do list, tight deadlines, uncertainty, conflicting demands, constant interruption and distractions….

Most people deal with this using a push through approach – they put the head down, and try to work faster, longer, harder to get it all done. And it doesn’t necessarily finish at the end of the workday; technology and the 24/7 timeline has blurred the boundaries between work time and downtime …

Benefits of Mindfulness at Work Training

This overload might work in the short-term but is not sustainable in the long term.

Eventually stress, illness and burnout are the inevitable result. About 80% of doctors visits are stress related and stress contributes hugely to absenteeism which is costing Irish employers over €1 billion, not to mention the cost of presenteeism (harder to measure and even more costly).

Thousands of studies have established that Mindfulness Training supports peoples’ health & well-being, giving them tools to navigate difficult situations with more ease; as well as build resilience for working in high-pressure environments.

Mindfulness strengthens attention networks, lessens stress and reactivity

  • More employee engagement
  • Less stress, tension, anxiety and fatigue
  • Better communication / collaborative working
  • Sharpened focus, attention span, memory retention, executive functioning
  • Lowering of irritability, conflict and disputes
  • Greater decision making skill and resilience in dealing with pressure
  • Boost to creativity, problem solving and performance
  • Improved wellbeing, vitality, optimism and job fulfilment.

The brain changes that occur as a result of Mindfulness Training are visible

Research shows that even a short period of Mindfulness Training benefits the brain, which grows more dense gray matter in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking. At the same time, the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with fear and stress is down-regulated.

Mindfulness also provides big benefits to the physical health of participants

  • Stronger heart, lower blood pressure
  • Better immune system function
  • Less frequency and duration of illness
  • Fights inflammation, gastrointestinal difficulties and asthma
  • Less depression, mood disorders, anxiety
  • Improves sleep, eating, digestion, exercise habits.
This blog was written by Joanne O’Malley, Mindfulness at Work