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How Practicing Mindfulness Can Benefit Your Team

Mindfulness has become a popular topic in recent years, and for good reason. But what is it? Mindfulness is simply the act of being aware and present without judgement, a skill that’s often taken for granted, but with practice can completely transform your life. The practice has been shown to have many benefits for both mental and physical health; when we bring mindfulness to our experience, our lives become richer, fuller and more satisfying. We also become better able to handle the challenges that life inevitably brings. But what about its applicability to the multifamily industry? Can mindfulness help us manage our businesses more effectively and live happier lives? The answer is a resounding “yes!” In this blog post, we will explore the science behind mindfulness and how it can benefit multifamily professionals.

What is Mindfulness and Why Does it Matter?

When it comes to mindfulness, the science is clear: the practice can have a profound impact on our lives. For one, incorporating mindfulness into our lives can help us be more effective leaders. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that mindfulness training helped business leaders make better decisions, plan more effectively, and act with greater integrity. What’s more, the study found that these benefits were evident not only in the short-term but also in the long-term.

In addition to being more effective leaders, mindfulness can also help us be more successful in our careers overall. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that mindfulness training helps people perform better at work, experience less burnout, and enjoy greater job satisfaction. Given the high demands of the multifamily industry, these benefits are especially important.

Finally, mindfulness can help us live happier lives both inside and outside of work. Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness reduces stress, improves mood, and increases levels of happiness and life satisfaction. And while we all know that happiness is important in its own right, it’s also worth noting that happy employees are more productive employees. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your career AND your happiness, mindfulness is a great place to start.

The Science Behind Mindfulness

Mindfulness strengthens our neuroplasticity; neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to new experiences. This means that, with practice, we can actually rewire our brains to be more mindful, and absorb all the other positive results that can come from being mindful as well.

A number of studies have found that mindfulness can help us rewire our brains for the better. For instance, one study found that eight weeks of mindfulness training helped participants increase their gray matter density in regions of the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotion regulation. Participants also showed decreases in gray matter density in regions of the brain associated with stress and anxiety. This means that not only are you improving cognitive function, but you’re working to take your body out of “survival mode”, a state in which only basic functioning matters. It’s an adaptive response that’s supposed to help us survive danger and stress, but it’s only meant to be a temporary state. With the psychological stress of everyday human life, many people are stuck in this state for extended periods of time over stressors that are not life and death – and truly, it takes a toll.

In this video, neuroendocrinology researcher Robert Sapolsky describes how closely the human stress response to our psychological troubles resembles the same stress response as animals fighting for their lives.

Another study, this one published by the Association for Psychological Science, found that mindfulness exercises that elicit compassion like Loving-Kindness meditations or body scan practices increase self-compassion and decrease overall self-criticism, leading to better mental and physical health. This is because facilitating self-compassion and generating compassion for others has shown to help relieve the “survival mode” in which many of us often find ourselves.

It’s easy to see how the value of mindfulness can be universal, but mindfulness practices have loads of benefits for multifamily, too. Mindfulness can help to improve communication and cooperation among employees in a multifamily workplace. When everyone is focused and attentive, it is easier to identify and resolve potential conflicts before they become serious problems, and this is beneficial for employees and residents alike! Mindfulness can also help to create a more positive work environment, which can lead to improved productivity and morale, and can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation, both of which are beneficial for employees in any type of job. So not only is mindfulness applicable at the individual level, it can also have a positive impact on the workplace as a whole!

Mindfulness Practices to Try

So what does practicing mindfulness actually look like? If you think practicing mindfulness is sitting in an uncomfortable position for way too long and counting your breaths into oblivion, think again! Mindfulness exercises come in all kinds of varieties, for all kinds of uses to encourage mindfulness in specific areas of life. Here is a playlist of a few, brief (<10 minutes) guided practices to get you started, with descriptors of each practice respective to the order of the playlist below.

  1. Breathing meditations allow you to focus on your breath and center your attention and intentions, allowing for greater focus overall.
  2. Body scan practices bring attention to your body and allow you to reconnect with your physical self – you might notice something about a feeling in your body you were dismissing before.
  3. Open Awareness practices open your awareness to everything that is happening in your environment and in your head – this practice can bring attention to what’s weighing the most heavily on your mind, and it’s important not to shy away from it! It can give you insight into what problems you may need to better prioritize solving.
  4. The Caring practice encourages you to extend compassion to yourself and to others in your life, discouraging self-criticism along the way.
  5. Mindful Eating invites you to savor and be present in your eating experience and understand your cravings and physical hunger cues without judgement.
  6. The Standing and Centering practice is designed to release both physical and mental tension in the body, and is a great stress and anxiety reliever.

When you practice mindfulness, you are training your brain to be more present and aware. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and can improve overall mental and physical health. With just a few minutes of practice each day, you can begin to rewire your brain for the better, and start living a more mindful life. And your coworkers and residents will thank you for it! Try out one of the mindfulness practices listed above to get started – you may be surprised at how much difference just a few minutes can make.

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