Mindfulness is the art of living in the moment. Often, people from all walks of life wonder if all the talk about mindfulness is just hype. AMA’s global study on “Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practices and Implications” by Miles Overholt and Mark Vickers, finds that mindfulness is strongly endorsed by those who practice some form of it. Why has mindfulness become so popular and why is it endorsed by so many top performing organizations?
Perhaps the major reason is the perception that we now live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) world. This perception has blossomed since the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. and the worldwide recession of 2008, and it has been linked to work-related stress. In the 2012 Workplace Survey released by the American Psychological Association, many Americans reported chronic work-related stress. Over 41% said they experienced significant stress during the day. The cost to the U.S. economy has been estimated to be as high as $300 billion. The figures are similarly striking in Europe, where the cost is at least 1% to 3% of GDP.
Mindfulness can help people deal with the anxiety created by feelings of uncertainty by focusing on the moment rather than ruminating about future uncertainties. Hence, it appeals to organizations that must face and embrace uncertainty and want to protect their employees from unnecessarily high levels of negative stress.
Mindfulness is not, of course, the answer to all organization or individual problems. But it may play an important role in a world that is increasingly complex. The integrated global economy requires workers and leaders with sophisticated skills, who can cope with stress and use their own judgment, to make sound decisions in dynamic environments.
How do you know that you might be helped by mindfulness practices for work-related stress?
- You think about work a great deal when home.
- You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work.
- Your eating habits have recently changed or you are eating food that you do not normally eat.
- You have trouble focusing and concentrating in work or out of work.
- You are more irritable than usual.
Want to learn more about mindfulness and how it impacts the management world? Check out these statistics from a recent report on mindfulness by Miles Overholt and Mark Vickers:
The art of living in the moment is essential for all employees to incorporate into their everyday routine. Use AMA's resources to learn more about mindfulness.