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Combatting Workaholism with Mindfulness Meditation

Combatting Workaholism with Mindfulness Meditation

There’s a lot of time, effort, and energy that goes into running a business, and there’s no doubt that with so many things to do, there’s simply not enough time in the day. For CEOs, executives, and business professionals alike, it’s easy to get swept up in the constant gravitational force of workplace responsibilities. Late night meetings, rapidly cycling emails and consistent phone calls make it evermore difficult for someone in higher management to engage in the present moment. Productivity often comes as a first priority, but did you know that not taking care of your mental and physical health could place your business at risk, even if it’s years down the line?

In a 2016 article published by the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Malissa A. Clark, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Work and Family Experience Research Lab at the University of Georgia, highlighted key differences between workaholism and work engagement, however. Workaholism typically occurs with the following:

  • Feeling compelled to work because of internal pressures
  • Having persistent thoughts about work when not working
  • Working beyond what is reasonable expected of someone, despite potential negative consequences (such as relationship problems)

Work engagement, on the other hand, is typically described as occurring when a person experiences eustress (positive stress) from working. They enjoy what they do, and they don’t feel pressured from their workplace obligations. If you’ve been experiencing workaholism, it’s important to begin practice mindfulness meditation, a practice that has been used for centuries. With mindfulness meditation, you practice focusing simply on the present moment. To begin, try this:

  • Sit in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed and your hands laying gently on your lap.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, focusing solely on the feeling of your stomach rising and falling as you breathe.
  • Your mind will likely begin to wander, and that’s okay. Merely watch your thoughts as if you were an observer, and gently guide it’s focus back to your breath.
  • Do this for 5 minutes the first few times you try it, and then slowly increase your time.

Mindfulness meditation has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, but it does take a lot of practice. The best part about this holistic practice is that you can do it practically anytime, anywhere – and you will find yourself more connected to yourself, your work, your relationships and more, because of it.

If you haven’t already, speak with someone from a professional treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Optimal recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your pursuit for happiness, health, and wellbeing.

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