Chances are, you’re no stranger to the term “mindfulness”. In the past few years, mindfulness has snowballed from a seed of change into a full-fledged and fortified pillar of wellness. Mindfulness is defined as, “a mental state achieved by focusing on one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”. To be mindful, simply put, is to be present. This is more difficult that simply providing bodily presence in any given situation, as you must also me present in thought and mind. When one is mindful in their actions, they are present, alert, and focused on the engagement or task at hand. This could result in improved productivity, reduced stress, and elevated levels of satisfaction in responsibility fulfillment.
“Talking about mindfulness is great, but how can I practice it in the real world?”
This is a question that we’ve both asked ourselves, and been asked during several of our YogAuditing sessions. Fortunately, the answer is simple. Think about the world in which you live in, not just globally, but personally. What do you spend most of your days working on? Are you performing security assessments? Are you leading and managing a team, a department, or an organization? Are you focusing on cultivating a culture of positivity? These things will change the way you practice mindfulness in the “real” world.
Advize Health has been exploring these avenues of thought in a series of YogAuditing workshops for IT professionals, and C-Suite executives for the past several years. Here we will be discussing what mindfulness means for those seeking strength and security in the IT world.
When “your mat, your practice” becomes “your department, your security”.
Many organizations undergo Information Security Audits that test their firm’s protocols, Firewalls, and overall cybersecurity operations. Remaining mindful in these types of situations may be the key to walking way with a declaration of compliance. Strength, serenity, and preparation can all be achieved through mindfulness. Mindfulness will calm you down, improve your mood, and teach you how to take things less personally – all key components to successfully undergoing an audit. When an individual is present, aware, and focused on their assigned tasks, they are able to complete them more effectively.
Take for example two IT professionals working on penetration tests for a infosec system.
Worker A is thinking about a fight he had the night before with his significant other. To distract himself, he is listening to music while executing pen tests. Every few minutes, he stops working to look at his phone. His eyes are starting to burn from a lack of sleep.
Worker B has put his phone away until lunch time. As he sits at his work station, he is aware of his bodily comfort and mental acuity. He feels prepared, and has created a list of tasks for himself to complete. Penetration testing is just one of many, so he puts the list away to avoid distractions. He is focused on identifying areas of weakness in the computer’s systems, and knows that if he can find them – and IT Assessor will too.
Who would you rather have working on your Information Technology team?
Hopefully you would pick Worker B.
This is the wonder of mindfulness at work – in work. When is disciplined in presence and mindfulness, everything else falls into place. They are able to accomplish tasks with the knowledge that they worked to the best of their ability. Mindfulness is not easy to grasp, but there are small exercises that can be done. Breathing exercises, the practice of yoga, the elimination of distractions, and the ability to “check in” with oneself are all perfect places to start.