How Does Mindfulness Work?

Mindfulness is a practice of paying attention in the present moment. Research shows that it can help people become less stressed and more resilient, which in turn boosts their performance at work. Nevertheless, some people are frustrated with mindfulness, feeling that it doesn’t do what they hope or that it makes them feel worse. This frustration is often caused by overly strict ideas about what mindfulness means and how it works.

One of the reasons why mindfulness is so powerful is that it reduces certain kinds of mental bias. For example, it appears to decrease sunk-cost bias, the tendency to keep investing in something that has already lost value. It also seems to reduce the negative effect of anticipatory stress, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Other studies show that mindful meditation decreases rumination, the constant thinking about unpleasant things that can lead to stress and anxiety. Several other psychological and physical benefits have been linked to mindfulness, including decreased blood pressure, less chronic pain, better sleep and fewer headaches.

In addition, mindfulness may improve job satisfaction, because it promotes self-determined behavior. In fact, one study showed that participants who took a mindfulness program were more likely to report higher levels of job satisfaction than those in the waitlist group (Hulsheger et al, 2013). Mindfulness may also help with heart disease. A study involving people with pre-hypertension found that those who took a mindfulness program were more likely than those on a waiting list to lower their systolic blood pressure. In addition, the study found that mindfulness boosted respiratory sinus arrhythmia, natural variations in the heart rate that indicate lower stress levels and a healthier heart.

People may also find that mindfulness is helpful in overcoming trauma. However, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness of mindfulness as a treatment for trauma. It is also important to note that mindfulness should be used in conjunction with other treatments, as it will not cure trauma or other mental health conditions.

While many people are skeptical about the effectiveness of mindfulness, the truth is that it can be very effective for a wide variety of people. The key is to find the right mindfulness technique for your individual needs, and to use it regularly. You can even try a few different practices and see which ones work for you.

The Forbes Coaches Council (2018) suggests that leaders of companies can encourage their teams to be more mindful by giving them some flexibility on the ways they practice. This will help prevent them from getting frustrated or discouraged if they don’t experience immediate results. For instance, they can let employees know that a short break in the middle of a meeting is a good opportunity to be mindful. Moreover, they can allow people to day-dream, as this can be beneficial for creativity and productivity. Lastly, they can encourage mindfulness by taking a few minutes to meditate or do breathing exercises at the beginning of meetings. does mindfulness work



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