The Irrefutable Relationship Between Mindfulness and Success

Mindfulness is becoming more mainstream, and there's a good reason why. Scientific research shows a strong correlation between mindfulness and success. 

Executives and professionals around the world are starting to take notice in the potential benefits of mindfulness, which has brought the practice into the mainstream. 

As a result, employees and business professionals are becoming more focused, more productive, and less anxious. 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a nebulous topic that can be difficult to define, but in part, that’s why it’s so impactful. There’s no right or wrong way to be mindful, and it’s something anyone can do anywhere, at any time. 

In the most general terms, mindfulness is bringing intentional awareness to the present moment, including awareness of thoughts, feelings, judgments, body sensations and environment. Most mindfulness practices will also include experiencing those thoughts and feelings without judgement.

Psychology Today outlines the scientific definition of mindfulness as "the self-regulation of attention with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance."

All other aspects or practices of mindfulness, such as meditation, therapy and visualization, are simply tools to achieve the basic attention to thoughts and feelings in the present moment.

How Mindfulness Contributes to Success

Mindfulness has been linked to a wide variety of personal improvements including decreased stress, self-acceptance, improved mood, lowered depression, and more. But can it actually make you more successful in your job or at school?

Academic Success

Research is uncovering that the personal benefits of mindfulness have an irrefutable relationship with performance. A multitude of studies on students, at varying ages, all revealed that mindfulness practices can reduce stress and improve academic performance as a result. 

Mindfulness has proven particularly helpful for at-risk students, including those with ADHD, those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and urban male youth. All of these groups exhibited improved academic performance following the introduction of mindfulness practices.

Similarly, college students who practice mindfulness are much less likely to engage in problematic drinking during their coed years. Lower rates of alcohol use (and abuse) result in better academic performance and better relational skills from a highly social time of development.

Workplace Success

Mindfulness in the workplace has been linked to a host of positive results, including improved social relationships, lower turnover and burnout, and overall boosted performance.

Lowering stress and focusing intention with mindfulness can help professionals make fewer mistakes. Unlike other tactics that require long-term dedication (like exercise or medication), meditation has shown to  have an immediate impact in reducing mistakes and improving focus. 

In one study at Michigan State University, subjects participated in a 20-minute guided meditation and then completed a distraction test on a computer. After meditating, participants were significantly better at recognizing mistakes and avoiding them through concentration.

Highly Successful People that Practice Mindfulness

While scientific research can link improved performance and job satisfaction with mindfulness, it doesn't solidify the direct link to high-level success. But what does support his relationship is the growing numbers of high-achievers that attribute their success to their meditation and mindfulness practices.

Executives that practice mindfulness and publicly credit it to their success include Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn; William Clay Ford Jr, CEO of Ford Motor Company; Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce; and Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of Huffington Post and Thrive Global. 

Many of the world's top artists also incorporate mindfulness into their routines to help stay balanced, healthy, and focused on produced exceptional work. Familiar names include Paul McCartney, Madonna, Katy Perry, and Oprah Winfrey.

Bianca, The Spiritual Owl, an internationally recognized Mindfulness Expert who has worked with well-known clients like Amazon, Fortune 500 executives, and prestigious academic institutions, says this, “In the fast paced modern world we live in, the importance of mindfulness practice has become essential for many CEOs and executives. Discovering valuable ways to reduce stress, become more present, and gain a renewed awareness has brought many successful people the physical and emotional wellbeing, peace, clarity, compassion and balance they were looking for.”

How to Use Mindfulness For Your Own Success

Do you feel stuck, or unable to concentrate? Are you looking to improve focus, heighten creativity, and better handle stress? 

Mindfulness can be used as another tool in boosting your own personal success. 

The smartphone can both be a tool and an enemy of mindfulness. Taking a break from the constant buzz of notifications is one method becoming more mindful and present in the current moment. 

Alternatively, there are a multitude of options, such as mindfulness and meditation apps, that are available at the touch of a button.

When it comes to mindfulness, there’s no right or wrong way to get started. The key is simply to get started.