Do you feel overwhelmed by notifications? Try mindfulness meditation

Do you feel overwhelmed by notifications?  Try mindfulness meditation

Emails, messages on Slack… Employees can sometimes be overwhelmed by an avalanche of notifications, which hampers their concentration and increases their stress level. Luckily, researchers at the University of Nottingham have found a technique to minimize the harmful effects of hyperconnectivity at work.

This technique is based on mindfulness meditation. This concept designates a state of consciousness characterized by attention focused on the present moment, without judgment and with benevolent acceptance of one’s thoughts, emotions and sensations. It was for a long time confined to the fields of spirituality and personal development, before bursting into the field of clinical psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience.

A British research team led by Elizabeth Marsh, doctoral student at the University of Nottingham, therefore wanted to determine the benefits of mindfulness meditation on professional stress generated by hyperconnectivity. To do this, it surveyed 142 employees on their experience of digital work. She particularly questioned them about their feelings regarding the extensive use of digital tools such as emails, instant messaging or videoconferencing; as well as the levels of stress and anxiety they feel about not being constantly connected. This fear of “missing out” is known in everyday language by the English acronym FOMO (“fear of missing out”).

Review your sense of priorities

The academics found that employees who practiced mindfulness seemed more immune to the harmful effects of hyperconnectivity than their colleagues who did not practice this type of meditation. They were less likely to suffer from stress and anxiety, as well as FOMO. “Overall, more mindful employees appear to experience fewer negative effects from their digital workplace and have better well-being outcomes“, write the researchers in their study, published in the journal PLOS One.

Everything therefore suggests that mindfulness promotes emotional regulation and therefore professional well-being. Because this practice encourages us to pay particular attention to the present moment and therefore to review our sense of priorities. All-out notifications give us a false sense of urgency: we feel obliged to respond as quickly as possible to each email or digital request to show our responsiveness. However, our brain reacts poorly to this self-inflicted pressure. It is difficult for him to switch from one task to another in a snap, which significantly increases the risk of mental overheating.

To escape this vicious risk, it is important to rethink your digital habits and distance yourself from notifications. People who easily get overwhelmed have every interest in making to-do lists and setting aside disconnected time slots. This will allow them to regain control of their working time and become more efficient. Add to that a little meditation and that’s it.

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