Whether you are a fresh graduate from University or you’ve been around the job market for some time, one hope when transitioning into a new role is that your past experiences will provide you with a range of transferable skills. A skill that has no limitations to where it can prove useful is mindfulness. Originating from Buddhism, mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, yet you do not need to be religious or spiritual to fully embrace it. In recent years, mindfulness has been popularized but its presence is limited, if there at all, in the business sector.
For those of you who have not heard of mindfulness or are a bit fuzzy on the topic, mindfulness is “a state of active, open attention on the present”. It is the idea that we are aware of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment by moment. Sounds simple, right? For as easy as it sounds, practicing being fully mindful is harder than it looks. However, we can make mindfulness a part of our daily life through training and practice. Mindfulness requires you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judgment. It means not looking at snapchat and wishing you were on a beach, thinking about your student loans or wondering what to have for lunch. As researched and approved by the American Psychological Association, this skill tends to come in handy in just about every aspect of your life, here’s a few:
- Reduces rumination
- Stress reduction
- Boosts working memory
- Increases emotional reactivity
- Enhances cognitive flexibility
- Relationship satisfaction
- Fear modulation
- Self insight
All of these benefits are possible because mindfulness affects the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is a major player in our ability to coordinate and adjust to complex behavior, impulse control, organization, monitoring of emotional reactions, personality, focus and attention, and planning, considering and prioritizing competing and simultaneous information.
So, how can this be a useful asset to your career? As young adults entering the world of work, you can often feel overwhelmed and not in control of your life. Practicing mindfulness can reduce anxiety and help tackle stress thus enabling us to become more aware of our feelings.
Specifically, in finance and the business sector as a whole, skills like multi-tasking, prioritizing, staying focused and keeping stress under control are essential. Our jobs require we be all of these things and more: diligent, able to pay attention to detail, able to communicate; the list goes on and on. In order to do these things, and do these things well, they require and deserve our absolute attention. Being mindful can enable you to fully grasp these qualities and can significantly contribute to our overall happiness!