Why Mindfulness Matters in the Workplace
Mindfulness is an important practice that everyone should be implementing into their daily life. Mindfulness is the ability to focus our awareness on the present moment. When we are being mindful, our mind is alert, yet calm. Our attention is directed to what we are doing, hearing, seeing, and feeling in that exact moment. This practice is beneficial in many different scenarios, but can be particularly helpful to use at work. Why? Because mindfulness can help to reduce stress, allow for better focus/attention, and increase productivity.
Ways to Implement Mindfulness into Your Work Day:
Practice Breathing Techniques: When you start to become stressed, deep breathing is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to relax yourself. By taking a minute or two to intentionally focus on your breathing, you can clear your head and give yourself a chance to reset.
Avoid Multitasking: Multitasking can trick you into feeling like you’re being more productive. However, that is not the case. Your best work is created when you focus on one task at a time. Directing your full attention to one task will also ease the burden of all that you may have on your plate. It is easier to think of climbing a few small hills over time, rather than climbing the tallest mountain all in one day.
Practice Gratitude: When your mind starts to become clouded with negative thoughts, take a second to redirect your mindset. How can you transform those thoughts to be more positive? For example, if you are having a super busy, stressful day at work you may think to yourself, “There is way too much to do and I’ll never be able to finish it.” Instead of painting the scenario in that light, try changing your mindset to think more along the lines of, “While I may feel overwhelmed in the moment, I am grateful to have a job in which I am busy. I am grateful that my company is flourishing and providing me job security. I am more than capable of handling the tasks at hand.”
Implement Short Breaks: Do you start to feel restless after sitting at your desk for an extended period of time? If so, this is probably serving as a distraction and taking your full attention away from your work. So, when this begins to happen, be cognizant of it and move. Stand up, stretch, take a short walk down the hall or around the building. Take a moment to reset and get out of that slump you were just in. Clear your mind of that restlessness that was distracting you.
Be More Compassionate: Be more compassionate to not only others, but also yourself. If something does not go as planned, respond to it with grace. There is no point in dwelling on a little mistake, something that can’t be undone, or one bad day. The best thing to do is move forward with a positive attitude and outlook. Focus on the moment you’re in right then, not the moments that have already passed. Be kind to yourself and your team members. One single moment does not define your abilities or work. Compassion goes a long way. Remember that you are capable and that there are always opportunities to learn and grown in your role.
Interest in learning more about mindfulness? Check out this Ted Talk by Amishi Jha!