For targets of workplace bullying, going into the workplace can feel like a prisoner walking the green mile, wondering what fresh hell the bully has in store for today. For most targets there is no escape from the stress, anxiety, depression and anger at the end of the work day as the effects of bullying spill into the rest of their life. What can targets do to start to turn the tide?
Mindfulness Meditation Is A Serious Tool With Proven Results
Let's answer a few questions first:
What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a well researched, western approach to 2500 year old Buddhist Vipassana meditation. However, it is non-sectarian and is a valuable stress management tool that everyone can benefit from. Its goal is not to transform a stressed mind into a happy mind. Rather it allows one to reconnect with what they are actually thinking and feeling.
Too often we find ourselves operating on auto-pilot being pushed and pulled through the day by what seem to be valid and natural reactions to stressors. So often we hear people saying that someone "made me" angry or upset. The fact is that it was the mind's automatic thoughts and reactions to the external stimuli that resulted in the emotional response. Mindfulness meditation brings this reaction to the attention of the conscious mind so it can be observed and released.
How Can Mindfulness Meditation Help Targets Of Workplace Bullying?
So what good does being aware of how I am suffering do? I already know that! With daily practice you will grow more and more adept and recognizing the thought processes that lead to the negative emotional outcomes that in turn lead to stress—and all the impacts on mental and physical health that accompany it. It is an empowering feeling to take back control, accept the current state of affairs, and quit the ceaseless struggle to change.
This does not mean you give up on change. You just stop wasting energy fighting your emotional state and begin to recognize the very real power your conscious mind can have again. This is something that many never realize they have at their disposal and go through their entire life being bounced around by external influences. They give the control of their state of mind over to the events and people around them—including the bullies. Mindfulness meditation can help you take that back—or realize it for the first time.
Why You Need To Begin Practicing Mindfulness Meditation
Everyone can benefit from mindfulness mediation, but targets of workplace bullying really need this kind of tool to get back control of the runaway freight train of emotional overwhelm that can beset them. So many targets say the bully did this or said that—therefore, I am angry or upset—therefore, I now suffer from PTSD, depression or any of a thousand other mental and physical impacts of stress.
Mindfulness mediation will not change any of that. But it will, with practice, give you the ability to interrupt the chain of events—that start with your thoughts—and give you the breathing space and renewed confidence in your ability to handle the stressors that are being thrown at you.
You may be thinking this is just positive thinking, mind-over-matter mumbo jumbo. However, mindfulness mediation has been the subject of over 1500 studies over the past five decades and has been demonstrated to be clinically effective for many of the stress related effects experienced by targets of workplace bullying; anxiety, panic attacks, depression, obsessive thinking, etc. It has even been used for physical ailments and pain management. Mindfulness mediation practice is a proven tool that targets would do well to seriously consider.
It's Not A Magical Solution, But It Is A Realistic One
Mindfulness mediation is not something that you do once for an hour. It is something that you need to incorporate into your life. It is a new way of thinking and experiencing the world. It incorporates a wide range of practices from "being in the present" and experiencing sense stimuli fully even when doing mundane tasks like eating, walking or taking a shower to more meditative practices which focus on noticing and releasing thoughts as they stream through our consciousness.
We have covered the basics of mindfulness mediation, what it can do for targets of workplace bullying and the value of incorporating it into our lives for greatest benefit. While it may seem foreign and difficult at first the rewards are not only available to everyone, but clinically proven to be effective.
Getting Started with Mindfulness Meditation
The actual practices of mindfulness mediation are more involved than we can cover in this article, but there are many books, CDs and DVDs available with information for the beginner to advanced.
If you are interested in learning more, I can recommend...
"Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment--and Your Life"
"The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems"
A quick search at a site like Amazon.com for "mindfulness meditation" will also give you a wide range of options from books to guided meditations on audio. I hope this information has piqued your interest and you decide to learn more and give it a try. The benefits are yours to be had.