How to stay present when wrestling with change?
How staying present will help you cope with your next big change? Staying mindful when everything is changing. Mindfulness as a change management tool. Add mindfulness to your organizational change management toolbox.
My favorite way to think of mindfulness is as a moment-to-moment and nonjudgmental awareness. Set your mindfulness in motion by intentionally paying attention to the present moment with an open heart. By being conscious of our emotions, actions, and thoughts, we can correct them if we need to. When we practice mindfulness, we’re looking at things objectively without emotions getting in the way—This lets us respond in a way that’s non-reactionary, which is better for everyone—especially at work.
Suppressing emotions leads to change resistance
When businesses encourage employees to suppress emotions at work, they’re unintentionally blocking learning and personal growth. Over time, workers begin to sound like robots, feeling compelled to adhere to routines, making it almost impossible to learn—in turn increasing resistance to change. One of the most important barriers to change is the idea that the change is really needed (by all team members or to better the company – Can you help insert example based on our target audience ). Mindfulness can help destroy this barrier and raise awareness. People who are mindfully engaged in change are both driven and able to view a larger range of perspectives, this lets them effortlessly adapt to changes at work.
Change can be stressful even for the most adaptable people who seem to go with the flow.
When change isn’t managed well by organizations, it makes people feel threatened, fearful, angry, anxious, and insecure. These feelings lead to employees protecting themselves from the situation and resisting change.
How mindfulness can make adopting a change easier
Mindfulness can benefit resistors by helping them cope with their negative emotions. If an employee practiced mindfulness they would self-monitor their behavior, become aware of their emotions, and choose positive solutions to combat the negative thoughts. When employees do this, they’re reducing negative emotions, leading them to accept change, and lessen the chances of bringing others down with them. This happens as mindfulness compels the individual to not react to their thoughts, but rather step outside them and curiously observe their thought patterns.
Some workers might enjoy new technology being introduced at work because they understand the need for it and are confident trying new things. While other employees may not understand how it works and think it’s not useful. Those employees will likely feel anxious or fearful during its introduction. In both cases, existing knowledge and assumptions may lead to positive or negative feelings that lead to different responses.
Through mindfulness, we can give the employee the tools to foster positive thoughts at work. A study with 132 working adults found that mindful employees have a better opportunity to be aware of their thought patterns that cause them to be hopeful, optimistic, and adaptable at work—Especially during times of change. This awareness may lead workers to choose to be more optimistic and resilient while dealing with change and stress in the workplace.
How to encourage mindfulness at work
Practicing mindfulness can enhance many aspects of your life—It can help you perform better at work, lower stress levels, and improve your focus.
It’s completely natural for people to want to escape from uncomfortable situations or emotions. When we practice mindfulness, it allows us to accept change without assigning negative connotations to it. It also retrains your brain to handle stress and get through challenges instead of avoiding them. This skill is invaluable in the workplace as stressors are the norm.
Mindfulness through meditation
Doing mindfulness meditation exercises can help cultivate more receptiveness to what’s happening in the moment in your mind and in your body by staying with it and observing it. This includes noticing your desire to want to distance yourself from change or unpleasant experiences.
A simple way to start a mindfulness meditation habit is by picking a time in your day that you can consistently meditate. You can meditate anywhere and anyplace When you meditate, focus on your breathing and clear your mind—It’s really that simple. Feel the air and any sensations in your body. Let thoughts come and go without assigning any connotation to them. Keep repeating this exercise until you feel at ease. Know that it WILL be uncomfortable at first.
A simple mantra for your meditation
Another way to help transition your mind and body while change occurs at work is by releasing tension. As we go through our day, we end up carrying a lot of tension in our bodies, especially during stressful times. When you have a spare moment, maybe you’re sitting at a red light, eating lunch, or waiting for a meeting to start, focus your intention for a moment and practice some deep breathing:
During your inhale, think, “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body.”
During your exhale, think, “Breathing out, I release the tension in my body.”
Repeat until you feel the tension release and your shoulders relax. Or until your meeting starts or the light turns green.
This type of effortless meditation can be extremely beneficial to clearing your mind and opening yourself up to accept change. It’s easy because you’re present, alive, and in the here and now. With every step, you’re in tune with the wonders of life—trees blowing in the wind, the sun on your face, and the sounds of birds chirping. When you walk, every step brings healing, peace, and joy. Every step is a miracle because you’re healthy and one with the earth. Try to get out in nature every day without any distractions. You’ll be amazed at how healing it is.
As humans, we all have the ability to embrace change and be adaptable to it. The important part is not letting our thoughts turn change into something negative. The caterpillar goes through a magnificent transformation to become a beautiful butterfly. Even as babies and children we go through so many changes to become the adults we are today. We effortlessly and unconsciously embraced changes then, so why not now? Don’t let your thoughts limit you.
Change isn’t good or bad, it’s just something different. It’s a time to grow as a human being and learn along the way. Embrace it and accept it, this is the true way to happiness and adaptability at work.