Within many industries, job stress and personal attitudes can affect the perception of work which will alter productivity and efficiency. Moreover, the well-being of individuals should be the main scope of focus for managers who want to build sustainable organizations. The idea of mindfulness practice of being in the moment has existed for centuries; however, recently it gained more attention from both scholars and the general public. This paper aims to review the concept of mindfulness, its application in law enforcement, and recommend best practices.
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Application of Mindfulness in Law Enforcement
Mindfulness is a concept that refers to practices such as medication or specific breathing strategies that help individuals control their stress and be more aware of the events around them. According to Sutcliff, Vogus, and Dane (2016), this practice has sufficient scientific evidence suggesting its efficiency, which can be measured through an assessment of blood pressure rates. Moreover, the authors reviewed several studies and linked this practice with enhanced organizational outcomes, providing implications for integrating mindfulness into operations.
Law enforcement is a specified field of work that often implies working in stressful or even dangerous conditions. The application of mindfulness can help mitigate these factors. Christopher et al. (2018) conducted a research in which they tested mindfulness training practices to determine its outcomes on the well-being of law enforcement officers under the assumption that it can minimize “adverse mental and physical health outcomes” (p. 15).
The findings suggest that this practice can enhance resilience, emotional intelligence, resistance to burnout, and other psychological aspects of well-being. Additionally, according to Suttie (2016), this method helps “decrease stress, pain, anxiety, and depression” (para. 3). All of these issues are prevalent in law enforcement, which provides an implication for establishing a daily practice of being present in the moment.
Mindfulness in law enforcement presents a variety of positive outcomes. According to Suttie (2016), police officers who dedicate time to meditating helps them avoid adverse consequences associated with their work, for instance, short life expectancy upon retirement. Sleep loss or depression are also among the many issues that people in law enforcement struggle with daily. Another component that relates to mindfulness in law enforcement is productivity. Suttie (2016) states that in most cases, exposure to stress and risk that people experience results in a decrease in performance productivity rates. Mindfulness, however, shows a positive impact on interpersonal communication and safety at work.
The approaches that that enforcement organizations use include team practice and personal use of the strategy. For instance, Christopher et al. (2018) offer to incorporate Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training (MBRT) into the operations of an establishment. Within this approach, people can be taught to meditate, perform body scans to become more aware of their physical state, and various exercises such as martial arts. In general, Christopher et al. (2018) argue that two hours per week can help individuals have sufficient practice and feel the positive outcomes of mindfulness.
Overall, mindfulness is a practice that can be applied by different organizations regardless of the industry. Law enforcement employees can benefit from using this concept due to the nature of their work. Based on the information presented in the paper, mindfulness is recommended as an approach to reducing stress and improving productivity as a daily activity. This can be done through meditation and exercises that emphasize being present.
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Christopher, M. S., Goerling, R. J., Rogers, B. S., Hunsinger, M., Baron, G., Bergman, A. L., & Zava, D. T. (2015). A pilot study was evaluating the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention on cortisol awakening response and health outcomes among law enforcement officers. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 31(1), 15–28. Web.
Sutcliff, K., Vogus, T., & Dane, E. (2016). Mindfulness in organizations: A cross-level review. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 3, 55-81. Web.
Suttie, J. (2018). How mindfulness is changing law enforcement. Web.