During the lunch break after my presentation on ‘Mindfulness at Work – Accelerating Agility Culture’ in Agile India conference recently in Bangalore, a gentleman walked up to me and asked whether we are conducting any Mindfulness workshop in the near future. I thought ‘Wow! Looks like I created some impact in the conference!’. Then he went on to say that his wife, who also works in an IT company, attended my Mindfulness workshop 4 months back and since then she has changed significantly. He said that she used to be stressed a lot, restless, get easily irritated and angry; but since attending the workshop she has become much calmer and takes everything coolly and has become more efficient in managing home – being an IT Manager herself, a working mother of 5-year-old son and wife of an IT Manager – an enviable position.
I thought ‘Wow! This is an even better endorsement!’.
Having conducted Mindfulness workshops for more than 700 people in different IT Companies, it is heartening to see the wonderful feedbacks from Mindfulness practitioners. We conduct a survey of the participants after 6 weeks of Mindfulness practices.
One of the Managers in a Software Product company poured down her experiences:
“I practice Mindfulness through the day whenever I feel the stress starting to build & I feel irritated/snappy and I am able to calm down immediately. This has helped bring down the buildup of stress & as a result, I feel just as light in the evening as I did earlier in the day. That is new! The body scan technique is immensely helpful & I notice how my body immediately relaxes. I do this every day before sleep & my sleep quality has remarkably improved. I cannot remember the last time I slept this fitfully! It is not that the to-do lists do not crop up every now & then, but I feel in control of the seemingly unending tasks. I feel distinctly calmer & on the whole, my clarity & productivity persists even on very long work days. I have taught my daughter the breathing & body scan too and she feels the same way! Thank you!!”
There are innumerable such feedbacks from Mindfulness practitioners – many people said how their interaction with people has improved, some wrote about how their sleep quality has improved, some mentioned about how their anxiety & stress levels have come down and how their productivity & focus in work has improved, some wrote about how they have become much calmer, even in Bangalore traffic!
In a mid-sized IT Services company spread across Bangalore, Pune and Delhi, 86% of the Mindfulness practitioners reported improvement in personal wellbeing; 67% reported improvement in their work performance and 81% reported improvement in their interaction & collaboration with others.
In a niche Software Product Company from Bangalore, 92% of Mindfulness practitioners reported improvement in personal wellbeing; 69% reported improvement in their work performance and 69% reported improvement in their interaction & collaboration with others.
One of the interesting observations is that youngsters are embracing Mindfulness much more eagerly and easily; whereas the more senior people have more baggage and more unlearning to do!
Here is a simple, but very effective Mindfulness technique that you can easily adopt – that is Breath Watch. Bringing your attention to breath is the simplest & fastest way to arrive at ‘here & now’. If you are getting into a challenging meeting or into a difficult conversation or feeling nervous about a presentation, just do 2 minutes of Breath Watch before getting into the act and you can notice that the mind becomes much calmer. Breath Watch is like ‘Task Manager’ in a computer through which you can kill the unwanted processes. Fear or anxiety about an event are essentially thoughts in the mind projecting a false/potential undesirable outcome from that event. Thinking about such fear or anxiety increases them as they create more thoughts in the mind. Breath Watch is the practical way to reduce such cluttering traffic of thoughts in the mind.
You can download and experiment with some of the audio/video guided Mindfulness practices from our website and check out the Be-Do Framework of Mindfulness at Work.
Happy Mindfulness exploration!