Can Mindfulness Apps Curb Work-Induced Burnout?

Researchers are now suggesting mobile mindfulness may not be so bad.

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It’s no secret—we’re hooked to our phones. On the subway, waiting for our morning brew, or jamming out at a concert, we’re constantly filtering and sharing our experiences through snaps, tweets, and texts.

So how can we be expected to get off the grid for long enough to cultivate well being and peace of mind? According to new research, we may not have to. In a study published this month out of Stuttgart, researchers found that using a mindfulness app for just two weeks may help employees become more engaged and curtail work-induced burnout.

In the study, the researchers randomly assigned 146 employees at a German company to an intervention group, which used the mindfulness app ‘7Mind’ for two weeks, or a control group, which was assigned to a waitlist. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the employees in the intervention group benefited from the mindfulness app on a number of work-related measures. They demonstrated increased mindfulness, work engagement, emotional intelligence, innovation, creativity, and self-efficacy, all the while feeling less emotionally exhausted at work.

This research is exciting, and especially promising for all us professionals who simply don’t know how to reconcile the lure of technology with the ever-growing call to live and work more mindfully. But more research still needs to be conducted on tech and wellness at work so that we may navigate this relationship most optimally.

Juggling technology with mindfulness can be a complicated act. It’s a quick step from thoughtfully using a mindfulness app to losing oneself in a black hole of Insta-fuelled, Facebook-fanned mindlessness. But the reality is that technology is here to stay. So we might as well figure out how to engage with apps and our many devices without disconnecting from ourselves.

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