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Mindfulness and emotional awareness can improve your work experience, Stanford researcher says

Paying attention to your emotions at work can improve your job experience and performance, says mindfulness expert Leah Weiss.

Emotions are seldom viewed as helpful in the workplace. Yet, as counterintuitive as it seems, checking our feelings at the door may make us less effective at work and could be one of the reasons why so many people feel disconnected, depressed and frustrated at their jobs, says Stanford Business lecturer Leah Weiss, PhD.

In her new book, How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind, Weiss, who is also a founding faculty member of the Compassion Cultivation Training program at Stanford Medicine, outlines some of the reasons why people are unhappy in the workplace, how to recognize problems and what steps to take to make improvements.

Giving yourself permission to use emotion at work is a key first step towards a happier and healthier workday, Weiss explains in a recent interview for Insights by Stanford Business:

We're in a much better position to change a bad situation if we've looked squarely at questions like, What's going on with me as I'm going through my work day? What is the root cause of what's happening to me? How much of this can I influence with my mindset?

To answer these questions, it's important to find the right balance of emotion and logic, Weiss says. Tapping into your feelings at work doesn't mean ruminating. Instead, try to be mindful of what you are feeling and why, she suggests, adding:

When we have that knowledge, we can decide how we want to process it and if we want to express it. And if we do want to express it, we can do that intentionally.

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