12 May 2023
SDB Embraces Mindfulness As Tool To Boost Employee Performance And Wellbeing

Have you ever felt like your mind is constantly racing with thoughts, worries, and to-do lists? This endless chatter in your "mind" may make you feel overwhelmed at times. Or are you feeling overwhelmed with work, and struggling to find ways to handle them?

It is exhausting, isn't it? What if there is a way to quiet that noise, even if it is just for a few minutes a day? Or figuring out new methods to handle your daily stress. That is right, having a great clarity of mind can help you achieve all that.

Meditation can be the perfect tool to help you attain that needed state of mindfulness. Being mindfulness, or having greater awareness is the goal of many practitioners. 
The practice has been around for a long time and has been proven to have numerous benefits for both your physical and mental health. Starting in December 2022, a group of SDB mid-level managers embark on a journey to explore the benefits of meditation – and how it can help to add value to their work. It is a timely initiative, more so in today’s fast-paced society.
Being Mindfulness
The programme “Improving Performance And Well-Being Through Meditation & Awareness” at SDB was initiated by Managing Director Ms Teh Lip Kim, a meditation practitioner herself. The purpose of the programme is to teach and train the mind to be more present at the moment, by letting go of distractions and negative thoughts. By doing so, we hope to attain a greater sense of relaxation, calmness and clarity. This means less interference and better focus.

For SDB employees, being able to attain a state of mindfulness is important – especially when we are in the people’s business. When you are building homes for people, you need to understand their psyche on a deeper level. What do modern-day homebuyers want? More comfort? Or simply more security and peace of mind when buying a house? In other words, we need to know our customers’ needs and preferences and understand what they value most.

One of the best ways to gain that understanding - apart from doing market research - is by putting ourselves in our customer’s shoes, and through awareness, to appreciate our products from our customer’s perspective and knowing how they might experience them. Meditation can be a powerful tool for us to unlock and access this mental clarity.
SDB's developments are distinguished by its tranquil, calm and relaxing spaces that helps the occupants to attain greater mental clarity and peace of mind. (Picture above from Jia, Bukit Jalil South).
As we train to focus our minds, picking up a new habit can be quite challenging. Learning to set aside time from our daily routine to meditate isn’t as easy as it sounds. Our first batch of meditation cohort was guided by Ms Maria Linghult, who has been practising meditation for over 25 years. Ms Maria’s technique teaches us to be in our ‘Flow’ – a state in which we access our inner mind by removing all the pre-conceived ideas or notions that a regular person has accumulated over time. These ‘thought barriers’ can impede our ability to achieve a state of mental awareness.

Over the course of five months, from December 2022 to April 2023, our cohort group – made up of first-time meditation learners from various departments (including Design, Sales, Property Management, Human Resources etc.) learned various meditation techniques from Ms Maria. These lessons were conducted through physical and online classes as well as sharing sessions.
At the same time, it can also lead to greater efficiency at work. When individuals are fully present and focused on the task at hand, they can complete those tasks more quickly without distraction. This can lead to improved performance, resilience and productivity. Additionally, by becoming aware of one’s own inner thoughts and emotional state, a person can better self-regulate and manage their stress and avoid burnout, which can ultimately lead to better workload management and job satisfaction.
SDB meditation group with Ms Maria Linghult (seated, third from right) during the first lesson in December 2022.
Nurturing Creativity
In addition to improving your focus, you can also nurture your creativity by quieting the mind. Focusing on the present, meditation practitioners can tap into their creative potential and generate new ideas.

How so? By enhancing your perception, you are able to observe and perceive your surrounding and world with greater clarity. As a result, you may become more open to new ideas, perspectives, and details that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. When you have a dynamic-mindset, this expanded perception can inspire the creative thinking process and provide a richer pool of material for creativity.

At SDB, we strive to be a developer who can perceive and envision our customers’ needs. For example, when referring to spatial relationships, we figure how the different elements and spaces within a house will interact and flow together. As such, we paid great attention to details that will optimise functionality and user experience.
Experiencing space is a subtle act of the human body and mind. How we perceived and utilise the spaces around us reflects on our creativity. (Picture above from 19Trees, Taman Melawati).
All in all, by being mindfulness, we want to build trust and create an emotional connection with our customers. Mental awareness can facilitate this connection between the architect, the space and the people living in it. By considering the emotional aspect in all our products, we build houses that can evoke positive feelings or the feeling of happiness to resonate with the occupants, and promote their well-being.

At the same time, successful meditation practitioners may also find more creative ways to engage with people, whether it is through interactions with their colleagues, or ways to handle a difficult situation. You might not want to get into a direct confrontation with clients or your co-workers. Rather, you can learn to empathise more with the people around you. This can lead to better communication and create more meaningful connections with others. Having less friction means having a greater sense of inner peace and contentment.

Beyond the workplace, a heightened mental awareness can also have positive impacts on all areas of life, including in your personal relationships and overall physical and emotional well-being. The benefits of mental awareness are numerous, and anyone can experience them by taking the time to meditate and cultivate mindfulness in their daily lives.
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