As the world marks World Mental Health Day on 10 October we share how mindfulness could help your business

For some mindfulness is associated with hours spent meditating, for others it is becoming a way of life. What if mindfulness could help your business?

Let’s start with what mindfulness really is. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme it is, “Paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgementally”.

So, how do we achieve that state of mind when we are running a business?

The constant juggle and balance between business life and home life can lead us to focus on where we want to get to that we lose sight of where we are and what we need to actually do to get there.

Taking the 7 attitudes of mindfulness and applying them to areas of your life and business can be a big step forward to finding mindfulness at work:

  1. Non-judgemental. We all place judgements on people, places and situations. If we took a step back and tried to remove those judgements would our behaviour be different? Perhaps we would be more open to opportunities, see things differently or choose a different way to behave.
  2. Patience. With ourselves and with others, knowing that sometimes it is ok for things to unfold in their own time. That we need to give ourselves a break every now and again. Think of this in terms of learning a new skill – you don’t know what you don’t know. So, be patient that you will learn it in time and don’t compare your progress to someone else’s.
  3. Trust. Trusting that our instincts can be right, that we often know what we need to do we just don’t trust ourselves enough to listen. How often to you trust your instincts?
  4. Acceptance. Finding a way to accept that there are some things we might not be able to change. Instead of spending time and energy in trying to find a way to make the change we look to use that energy elsewhere and focus on the things we can change and that we do have control over.
  5. Non-Striving. We live in a world where we are conditioned from a young age to try hard, to pass our exams, to get the promotion. We should all have goals and ambitions – no matter how big or small – but if we stop focussing on the future just for a moment and look at where we are now we could find that we achieve those goals quicker by recognising what actions we need to be taking to get there.
  6. Beginner’s mind. Can you imagine viewing everything as if it was for the first time? In life, and in business, sometimes it helps to take a step back and view things as if you have never seen them before, you might just see a new opportunity you would otherwise have been closed off to.
  7. Letting Go. Everyone holds onto things, we’re human and we have a tendency to overthink. Looking back and wondering if things could have been different. If we can learn to let these things go, to learn from them but not dwell on them, living in the now becomes much more realistic. How would it feel to just let things go?

What difference could it make to you and your business if you were to apply just one of these attitudes today?