Making mindfulness work
I’m a man of routine. Working in an industry where no two days are the same, I find comfort in framing my time with some semblance of structure and repetition.
Alongside the standard ablutions, physical exercise, and breakfast (the most important meal of the day…until lunch), a crucial component for me is my daily dose of mindfulness—served up as an integral part of my commute into the office.
I’ve been practicing for a couple of years now – racking up 65 hours and counting – and, while I wouldn’t profess to be a professional, I find it a helpful way of setting myself up for the day.
Alongside the obvious uses for meditation like calming the mind, increasing my ability to focus, and supporting my mental wellbeing, I also have more practical applications like a pain management technique for an ongoing injury.
So far, so good-willed.
But, beyond the personal, the idea of bringing the practice of meditation and mindfulness into the workplace is gaining traction. As the shift continues from mediation being a ‘new age’ or ‘spiritual’ pursuit (incense and crystals optional), to recognition of the proven clinical impact of investing in one’s mind, the applications for businesses are almost limitless.
Again, in an industry where mental health issues are prevalent, meditative techniques can be a powerful tool to complement other methods of reducing stress and addressing specific mental health concerns.
More interesting, though, is the broader ways mindfulness can not only ‘fix’ our minds but improve them. There is concrete proof that mindfulness can quite literally rewire our brains, helping us to truly master what remains the most complex object in the universe.
The opportunities are endless. It’s a brain no-brainer.
The challenge is a simple one. We have to create the right kind of environment and impetus for people to form a new habit. The practice of mindfulness only works when you…practice. Often.
Last summer we launched mindfulness within the agency. Lots of people tried it. A handful more than once. And then it stopped. The good intention was there but, for countless reasons, the commitment wasn’t.
I’m not one for giving up so easily, however—especially because I personally feel the benefit from a habitual investment in my own mind through mediation. Eulogy is going to try again, with the goal of getting to the end of 2019 with more people being mindful both inside and outside the agency.
They say a good way to kick a habit is to tell those around you what you’re doing. We’re going to pick this habit, and to help it stick I’m going to keep telling you how we’re doing. Wish us luck.