- If you can't relax while waiting for results after interviews or exams, a mindfulness hack may help.
- Apple co-founder Steve Jobs found success in mindful meditation after a trip to India.
- Psychologists say mindfulness makes it easier to deal with nerve-wracking waits.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
The post-interview period can be a particularly worrisome and stressful time.
A hundred questions cross your mind: did I make a good impression? Did I say what the interviewer wanted me to? When will they get back to me? Are they even going to call? What happens then?
If you're not the sort who can sit back, relax, and wait for an answer after sitting through an interview, there's a psychological tool to help stave off the temptation to check your inbox every five minutes: mindfulness.
Why mindfulness helps with your application
University of California psychologists Kate Sweeny and Jennifer Howell have discovered that mindfulness can make it easier to deal with nerve-wracking waits, according to psychology journal Psychologie Heute.
As part of their study, the researchers asked 240 law students waiting on news of their admission to the bar to complete a questionnaire.
In the first part of the questionnaire, participants were instructed to complete the so-called "Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory."
This enabled the researchers to assess which of the students tended to lead a mindful life. "These 'mindful' participants were basically less concerned about the results," the study said.
There was one thing that particularly struck the psychologists: mindful people prepare themselves for a potentially negative outcome but only towards the end of the waiting period.
It's counterproductive to assume directly after an interview that the results may be negative. Basically, if you keep running through your mind what may have gone wrong during the interview, you're not doing yourself any favors.
In the second part of the questionnaire, participants were told to do mindfulness exercises at least once a week for 15 minutes or to meditate with "Loving Kindness Meditation."
"Participants who struggled the most during the waiting period experienced an improvement specifically through mindfulness exercises," according to the study.
Steps for mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to pay full attention to the present. This means avoiding worries, doubts, fears, and uncertainties.
Meditation can be a helpful tool, and its uses aren't restricted to interviews and exams.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs found out about the technique on a trip to India. There, he learned to be mindful through meditation, changing his view of the world, of design and creativity, and shaping his success.
You can read author and entrepreneur Faisal Hoque's 4 steps to learn the art of mindfulness, including focusing on good thoughts and lessons learned from mistakes.
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