How to Practice Mindfulness at Work: Eight Great Ways
As an office worker, you know very well that your job is where you spend most of your time. Whether you are sitting in your ergonomic chair or hosting meetings, the office is your base.
The office can be significantly stressful, with emerging deadlines, annoying conversations, long hours, and difficult customers. Regardless of the field you are in, the job can be a source of anxiety and a good remedy for that could be mindfulness. Do you practice mindfulness at work?
When you practice mindfulness in the workplace and at home, you start to feel and act like a better version of yourself. Why practice mindfulness, you may ask? The answer is your workplace is a fast-paced environment and requires you always bring your A-game, stay focused, be proactive, and get along with colleagues and customers alike. Mindfulness and mediation can be the key to maintaining your sanity.
What Is Mindfulness and Why You Should Practice It?
Mindfulness is where you focus on being immensely aware of what you are feeling within each moment. The practice is a way of training your mind since, at work, there are many instances where your mind starts wandering.
Whether you were thinking about the future, fantasizing, worrying, or dwelling on the past, it has happened and mediation is one way to bring you back to the present.
You spend a lot of time daydreaming, planning events, and thinking random thoughts that can be draining and increase your chances of becoming stressed or experiencing signs of depression and anxiety.
Practicing mindfulness in the workplace can help to redirect your attention to the present, relax your body, and reduce stress. Mindfulness can also help to improve sleep, decrease burnout, improve your attention, balance emotions and thoughts, and improve your health and state of mind. You can practice these mindfulness exercises at work since they are quite simple:
- Paying attention – Try to slow down and take the time to experience the environment with all your senses.
- Accept yourself – Treat yourself as you would treat your good friend.
- Concentrate on your breathing as you destress during lunch break - When there is a flash of negative thoughts, try sitting down, closing your eyes, and taking a few deep breaths. Focus on each breath as it moves through your body.
- Live within the moment – Find joy in the simplest of things and be open and accepting to everything around you.
You can try other structured mindfulness exercises, such as walking meditation around the office, body scan mediation where you focus on all the parts of the body, and sitting mediation that can be done at your office standing desk. Meditation exercises at your desk are more effective than you may think.
Eight Ways How to Practice Mindfulness at Work
Be a Single Tasker and Not a Multitasker
You have heard of the term multitasking before, but this is the opposite. Being a single tasker means doing one thing, activity, or task at a time. In reality, no one can multitask, as you are only switching between tasks, which can cause confusion, mistakes, loss of information, increased stress, and limited productivity.
Allow yourself to focus on only one thing. You might feel yourself drifting to another task, which is fine. Once you have noticed, stop, take a breath, re-center and come back to the task you were originally completing.
Add Mindful Reminders to Your Calendar
Set a mindful appointment for yourself. Your reminder takes you out of the natural auto-pilot mode your body is in at work. You can use a stress reducing app to remind you when it is time to actively practice mindfulness in the workplace. Choose a vibration notification option to avoid disturbing others.
Slow down so You Can Speed up
Consider it as stopping to be more effective, joyful, healthy, productive, and resilient at work. Going fast does not make you better, as it is more likely to lead to misused energy, more errors, and bad decisions. Instead of rushing around, pause and listen. Taking the time to reflect before running to action ensures more thoughtful results.
Take Baby Steps
Do not attempt to make huge changes towards the world of mindfulness. Commit to one thing you can practice each week and try to not get overwhelmed with thoughts of needing more time to be mindful. Try taking your new mindful attitude everywhere you. Bring it to the park, supermarket, and even your church. Seize every moment as a chance to pause and be present.
Practice a few yoga poses, take deep breaths, and take a brisk mindful stroll around the building or up the stairs. If you are not up for that, every time you go to get some water or use the bathroom, take the opportunity to stretch your arms above your head, touch your toes, twist your neck, and bend your head so the blood can circulate. You can opt to adjust your office standing desk through frequent sit-stands cycles.
Build a Connection with Your Senses Using Short Mindful Exercises at Work
In a busy office, it might be hard to find 30 minutes or an hour to do a mindful exercise, but that does mean you cannot be mindful. As short as it is, one minute of consciously connecting with any one of your senses is a mindfulness exercise.
You can try slowing down as you walk to the car, taking the time to notice everything in your environment. Check in with your senses. For example, smell the engine oil from the car that is parked next to you, and release any tension. You could even be intentionally aware of your heels and toes as you take steps on the ground.
You can make a clear stipulation at the beginning of the day that you plan to be present at your best. Take moments to pause for a few minutes before embarking on the day to set this clear intention in your mind.
Be Humble and Grateful
Consider the persons you have helped, such as family members and employers. Be willing to be a hard worker for the company and yourself. You can become a better person, coworker, and employer when your ego is deflated and you take the time to express congratulations. Being grateful can have a huge impact on your health, quality of work, creativity, and working relationships.
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