Mindful Leaders Can Reduce Team Stress

“Mental Health America reports that 9 in 10 employees feel work stress affects their mental health.”

Sometimes that stress starts at the top and works its way down as leaders react to stressors and project anxiety to their team. The practice of mindfulness can help leaders recognize stress in themselves and their employees and take action to help lessen it. 

What is mindfulness? 

Mindfulness encourages us to quiet the mind to gain awareness about the present. It’s the practice of pausing for thought before reacting. Pausing helps to broaden your perspective so that you can respond in an intentional manner instead of simply reacting. Becoming more mindful can help you focus on the most important factors in a situation, build empathy, empower others. 

How does mindfulness reduce stress? 

It’s natural to get caught up in our thoughts as we work. Becoming more mindful enables us to be aware of spiraling thoughts and emotions and direct our thoughts to the present—to be with what is happening instead of what we think is happening. By pausing to take a breath, we can control our response to stressful events or circumstances in our workplace. We can choose our response instead of automatically lashing out, shutting down, or following the crowd. Gaining control over our actions and reactions helps us feel calmer and more focused. As we move away from the reaction, we also become more able to create and innovate, allowing increased productivity and feelings of success. 

How do mindful leaders help the team? 

By practicing mindfulness, leaders can set a good example for team dynamics.

“Research shows that mindful leaders develop behaviors that improve time management, self-care, empathy, and adaptability.”

Leaders who model these behaviors can pass them on to the team, creating a healthy and productive environment for all.  

How can leaders become more mindful? 

As workers continue to adapt to the demands of the pandemic world, emotional intelligence in leadership becomes ever more crucial. A significant responsibility of leadership is to remain aware of your impact on others. Use these tips to stay mindful: 

  • Focus on self-awareness 
  • Frequently review goals and intentions 
  • Practice pausing to check in with yourself and become aware of how others are responding 
  • Choose a response in line with your intentions and values.  

As leaders practice mindfulness, they can connect better with team members, creating a more creative, productive, harmonious workplace.

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