Resilience And Flexible Thinking: The Role Of Mindfulness

Research over the past few years has found that mindfulness can bring a myriad of benefits, promising better sleep, reduced anxiety and increased focus, among many other things. In this article, we will focus on how it can help to develop one key area of resilience: flexible thinking.

In our 5 Pillars of Resilience model, the Flexible Thinking pillar encompasses our ability to see things from different perspectives, approaching tasks with an open, clear mind and not making snap judgements or assumptions.

So why is mindfulness relevant in the context of flexible thinking?

Integrating mindfulness into your working day allows you to maintain a sense of moment-to-moment awareness, better equipping you to remain level-headed and adaptable. It is especially beneficial when going through challenging situations or times of change, helping you to put things into perspective and not get caught up in worry, therefore feeling more in control. It supports you to remain grounded and see things more clearly, enabling you to respond in the most effective way possible and make rational decisions.

If you’re looking to improve this aspect of your resilience, here are eight easy ways to embed mindfulness into your working day:

  1. Before you start work or during a break, try a simple mindfulness meditation or breathing exercise.
  2. Look away from your laptop regularly, ideally outside (also great relief for your eyes).
  3. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, get up and move. Pay attention to how it feels to move your body.
  4. If you are able to, get outside at lunchtime. Look around you and take in your surroundings, rather than at your phone.
  5. Give eating your undivided attention – whether it’s a healthy lunch or a quick snack, resist the temptation to do other things at the same time. Focus only on the experience of whatever you are eating or drinking.
  6. Set reminders for yourself to periodically check in with your senses – what can you see, hear, feel? Can you smell or taste anything?
  7. Bring mindful attention to routine tasks, such as washing your hands or making a cup of tea.
  8. Have a conversation with a colleague and really, truly listen to them.

Mindfulness takes practice, but it is worthwhile to reap the benefits – for both yourself and those around you. If you can integrate some of the above techniques into your day, you should find that you are able to think more clearly and creatively and feel calm, in control and confident in your own judgement.

For information about how you can use Wraw to identify your resilience development needs, get in touch with us by emailing team@wrawindex.com or call +44 (0)800 085 6899.