Mindfulness is a neurological powerful tool that improve mental health in women professionals. Companies around the world have understood the issues their employees may face and saw the impact of mindfulness in their productivity.
In this hyper-paced and demanding world, professional women tend to juggle multiple responsibilities, strive to meet high expectations in their work, and try to balance their personal lives. Many must look after their families, cook, help their children with homework, and more. The to-do list may have no end.
Women do EVERYTHING and more to succeed in every aspect of their lives, pushing them to the limit like they were Superwomen. But this unnecessary pressure they put themselves under leads them to feel stress, anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction, or lack of motivation, to name a few unhealthy effects. But the formula where overwork and being extremely busy is part of a successful life is far from the truth. The only valid result of this equation is burnout.
According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, women are more likely to suffer from anxiety than men, probably because of differences in brain chemistry and structure. For example, feeling anxious make things like staying focused on an activity a little more challenging, so women waste more time doing activities and worrying more about the future. At the same time, this can cause them to work longer hours or take on heavier workloads, which turns into an endless loop in which mental health and self-care have no place.
In this constant whirlwind, professional women must understand they should maintain a balanced life to achieve all their goals.It is unnecessary to burn out to be successful, and this whole process of understanding, acceptance, having a better work-life balance, and being more productive can be improved by practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness and its Impact on the Workforce
Let’s start from the basics. According to The Institute for Organizational Science and Mindfulness, Mindfulness is a neural practice that modifies behaviors and brings about physical changes in brain structure and function. Mindfulness accomplishes this by creating new networks and patterns that impulse positivity in our habits and behaviors.
In simple words, it gives us the ability to be present and aware of our emotions and thoughts. Once we are conscious of our mind and body, we are able to respond with ease and understanding rather than reacting.
But the positive impact of mindfulness goes beyond simple brain stimulation; it has a sequential effect on our life. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted mindfulness studies on 3515 participants, resulting in positive changes in relation to stress, anxiety, depression, and mental health in general.
Just with simple practices like meditation, we enhance our mind to reframe itself. For example, by improving the management of emotions, professional women experience less stress and, at the same time, it allows us to be more creative in our work by generating ideas, making important decisions, or looking for solutions.
Many companies around the world have noticed it and have implemented health programs, where their employees practice mindfulness, improving their concentration, productivity, stress management, decision-making skills, effective communication, and many others like emotional intelligence, compassion, and empathy, skills that every breakthrough woman leader should have.
These benefits also have impacted those organizations by reducing absenteeism and turnovers, increasing talent retention and innovation, strengthening leadership, lowering healthcare costs, and creating a workplace with more motivated and committed employees.
The best part is that everyone can learn mindfulness. However, to make long-lasting effects, repetition is critical.
3 simple techniques to practice mindfulness
As I mentioned before, meditation is another powerful way to mindfulness and we can practice it everywhere. With meditation, we can quiet our racing thoughts by replacing them with the stillness that comes from focusing on specific elements, such as our breathing or a part of our body. It allows us to observe ourselves free of prejudice.
Simple as it may seem, this mechanism reduces cortisol levels and regulates our overall brain chemistry. So if we are in an office, maybe we can start by taking a few minutes break to stabilize our mind and body.
Meditation is one thing I have already started to practice, so here are my tips: sit with your back straight and palms on your legs, and make sure you are comfortable so that no part of your body feels tense.
Then close your eyes and take a deep breath, but do it gradually from your stomach, filling it until it reaches your lungs. Hold it for one second and then release it. Repeat it for a few minutes. It will help you to create a routine, and then you can increase it progressively.
Set your intentions every morning
It is another thing I started to practice some time ago. Every morning set an intention for our day; it could be something simple like “Today is going to be a great day” or “Today I will start my day with joy, so I will salute every person with a smile”.
In this way, we train our mind to be aware of it, actively doing so while creating our reality, a better way to approach our inner and outer life. It will also help us have more control over our day, rather than the situations of our day controlling us and our emotions.
The key is to be aware of what we want and be crystal clear in making the intention.