Mindfulness improves mental, psychological and physical health — lowers rates of fatigue and burn out, lowers blood pressure, improves memory, improves sleep, enhances immune system, reduces depression, mood disturbances and anxiety, increases clarity of mind, balance, energy, zest for life and focus.
At work, mindfulness leads to better teamwork, improved emotional intelligence, reduced interpersonal tension, less reactivity, better listening skills and improved ability to communicate clearly, enhanced leadership, better ability to "think out of the box" and enhanced creativity.
To cultivate mindfulness, pay close attention to your breathing, especially when you’re feeling intense emotions. Notice — really notice — what you are sensing in a given moment, the sights, sounds, and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
Recognise that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you, an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns. Tune into your body’s physical sensations, from the water hitting your skin in the shower to the way your body rests in your office chair.
Shazia Omar is a yoga instructor at Studio 107.