Practicing Mindfulness, or Finding Your Reason to Get up in the Morning
Last week, our Singapore-based employees were introduced to mindfulness by a certified instructor from nowyourmind as part of a greater company effort to focus on the wellness of our employees, and to make sure our MAGIC values are internalized. The inwardness of mindfulness is especially relevant to honing our values of Ikigai (finding oneself), Curiosity, and developing a positivity towards the prospect of Mastering the future.
Although many of us are familiar with the term, the benefits of mindfulness may not be common knowledge. Most notably, mindfulness is especially useful when one is overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions, which is often caused by stress. This makes it the perfect tool for busy employees and students alike. The American Psychological Association shares a list of the benefits of mindfulness, including reduced stress, improved memory, better focus, and less emotional reactivity. The Institute of Mindful Leadership also highlights how mindfulness addresses common workplace issues such as focus, effective communication, and strategic planning. Mindfulness could therefore play a key role in improving the quality of the workplace experience.
The benefits of mindfulness also apply to the school setting. It provides both students and teachers with strategies to not only manage stress, but increase happiness and decrease anxiety, thereby allowing the cerebral cortex to focus on attention, memory, and empathy. One of our schools, the Nobel International School Algarve, implemented a mindfulness programme in its curriculum during the 2017-18 academic year. A group of teachers completed an eight-week course on mindfulness, where they learnt skills and practices that complement teaching and learning by encouraging stress management and a growth mind-set. The cycle of training just started again, with a lecture provided to teachers on neuroscience in the classroom, as well as a 6-week programme to focus on practicing mindfulness in a classroom with children.
Since learning about mindfulness last week, our team members in the Singapore office have adapted to practising it. It is one of the first steps in helping to live in the moment and emphasize joy in the workplace.