SUCCESS Materials – English

Meaning of Life – Theoretical Background – Using Mindfulness to Develop Meaning

Using Mindfulness to Develop Meaning

Mindfulness seems to be related to the work environment and to the goals which set by the employee. Mindfulness is defined as a process where the individual is fully aware of his /her thoughts, emotions but at the same time he / she is fully grounded to the present moment, also known as “here and now”. At the same time the individual is fully aware of his/her surroundings without feeling destructed or disturbed as he /she is experiencing acceptance, curiosity and broadening (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). The implementation of mindfulness refers to focus at the very present moment. By practicing mindfulness one can gradually achieve introspection and understanding of the nature of the thoughts and emotions. As he/she acquires wisdom and serenity follows the knowledge of the true nature of the self and of the reality.

A developed mindfulness decreases the uncertainty about finding a job, feelings of insecurity, and worries about modern changes (Jacobs & Blustein, 2008). Indicatively, after the implementation of a six-week program in adults was established a significant improvement in work-related stress (Klatt, Buckworth, & Malarkey, 2009). Positive results were also reported concerning the job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion that could lead to burn out (Hulsheger, Alberts, Feinholdt, & Lang, 2012). It also relates to career choices facilitating the decision making. Practices of pessimistic thoughts, anxiety of uncertainty, engaging with the past and the future, are reduced. Thus, a better self-control, internal mobilization, and  better work identity is achieved (Zhang, 2011).

Focusing on purpose, research highlights on the importance of individuals’ perceptions of the significance of their work – in terms of serving or experiencing a sense of purpose through their work efforts – in contributing to the experience of meaningful work. For example, an individual doing work she perceives to be important to society or to her community is likely to perceive work as significant and serving a greater purpose, and therefore more meaningful (Grant, 2008b; Wrzesniewski, 2003).

To conclude, taking into serious consideration all the information which have been mentioned above, it seems that meaning and its related components can facilitate the balance between work and personal life, can promote job satisfaction, enhance employee engagement and can serve as valuable tools during the career guidance counselling.