Group mindfulness strengthens connection and teamwork
Mindfulness is often perceived as a solitary act, an unfolding of awareness of our true selves. Mindfulness meditation involves dedicating time and space to being a witness to your thoughts, physical sensations and emotions. There are a plethora of books, recordings and apps available for people to practice and learn about mindfulness in the comfort of their own home, alone. Cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion can help individuals to develop a more positive relationship with themselves. Our relationship with ourselves directly effects our relationship with others, including our customers, our colleagues and our staff. Learning and practicing with others educes distraction and builds connection through mutual support and understanding..
During Covid, many of us have adapted to working from home, and for many organisations this has become the ‘new normal.’ This means that we might be becoming increasingly isolated from our colleagues. Effective teamwork and a sense of a collective vision throughout an organisation can become more challenging. By practising mindfulness together, either in person or in a Zoom group, we can use our mindfulness practice to create a more cohesive workforce.
Group activity can reinforce our motivation and commitment to practice. This is true for many human activities. Mindfulness is sometimes compared to going to the gym for the mind. Only a small proportion of those joining gyms attend regularly, those that do generally attend regular classes. Similarly, running clubs reinforce motivation to continue. It is easier to stop running, stop exercising or stop meditating when you are on your own than when you are with others. It is harder to find an excuse to do something else when someone else has created the time and space for you. The presence of others, in every meaning of the word, can give us a boost when our resolve is weakened. By providing a space, either physical or virtual for your staff to meditate together, you are providing the opportunity for your staff to support one another in gaining the benefits of mindfulness.
By providing the space for a mindfulness group within your organisation, you are providing the opportunity for your staff to develop skills in reducing distraction and increasing concentration. One of the difficulties with working from home is that there are distractions everywhere. Providing the opportunity for staff to go to a mindfulness space, either physical or virtual means that there are fewer excuses to not meditate – no dishes to wash, no emails to send, no mail to open, no box set to watch etc. Attending a group can reinforce and strengthen personal practice and remind us of our motivation for wanting to practice mindfulness.
When learning to meditate, it’s advisable to do it with a well-trained and experienced teacher. Yes there are lots of apps and videos out there but relying on these without the support of a teacher can lead to misinformation and mis-conceptions. People will often give up because they think they are doing it wrong – perhaps because they expected to feel relaxed when meditating or they expected to have absolutely no thoughts! By practising in a group, with an experienced facilitator, there is the opportunity to share experiences so that participants learn more about mindfulness and about themselves. By choosing Mindful Impact, you can feel confident that your team are in safe hands. Get in touch with the team at Mindful Impact to find out about setting up group mindfulness in your workplace.