Burnout Remedy #3 – Mindfulness

Many of us are on the verge or have already burned out in our occupations.  Law enforcement, firefighters, and especially healthcare providers have some of the highest rates of burnout among professions.  The pandemic exacerbated this problem.  As a result, people and organizations have scrambled to provide ways to mitigate burnout.  Unfortunately, the plethora of options can become overwhelming.

Over the next few months, I will take a closer look at the top burnout remedies and provide the pros and cons of each.  Today’s remedy is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of mind that incorporates meditation.  This practice of focus is where the practitioner concentrates on the present moment.  As Chade-Meng Tan said, “To worry, you need to be in the future.  To regret, you need to be in the past.”  If meditation is exercise, mindfulness is being in shape.  

The discipline of mindfulness is nothing new.  It has been around for thousands of years.  People in the current culture tend to be experts at repackaging old ideas.

 

Burnout Pros

  1. Studies suggest mindfulness decreases stress, depression, anxiety, and a host of other negative behaviors.  This remedy results in less emotional exhaustion.
  2. Meditation techniques can include guided meditation, qigong, tai chi, and prayer.  Depolarization can be minimized when practiced with others.
  3. Focused breathing reduces cortisol levels and shifts the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic.
  4. Some research has shown increased antibody production in mindfulness practitioners.  Can you say Meditation Vaccine?

Burnout Cons

  1. Meditation takes practice.  Mindfulness is a developed skill that takes time to master.
  2. The object of focused breathing is important.  If you’re praying, are you praying to something or someone?
  3. Frustration can arise with new practitioners, initially causing more stress.

Meditation Tips

  1. Consistency is key.  Make meditation a daily practice before bed or upon waking.
  2. Choose a quiet place.
  3. Get in a comfortable position.
  4. Breathe deeply and slowly.
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