Bringing Mindfulness to Work
Mindfulness is a healthy habit to cultivate. It doesn’t have to be restricted to your home life. Once you start to get into the practice of being mindful and start to enjoy the benefits, you’ll want to bring it with you to work.
Why You Need Mindfulness in All Areas of Your Life
Mindfulness is a simple practice but one that many people struggle to make a habit. It’s focusing your awareness, senses, thoughts, and emotions on the present moment rather than the past or future. Mindfulness can be meditation but also as informal as taking a minute to recognize what’s around you right now.
Being more mindful comes with many proven benefits that showcase why it’s important to bring it to all areas of your life:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Reduced rumination and depression
- Improved memory
- Improved focus
- Improved emotional regulation
- Strengthened relationships
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced chronic pain
Not only do these benefits improve your physical and mental health, they can boost your performance at work. Being better able to focus, remember tasks, and manage stress translates to more effective work.
How to Be More Mindful at Work
The most traditional way to practice mindfulness is with meditation. However, you don’t need to stop what you’re doing and meditate to be mindful and to get the benefits. If you have a few minutes and a quiet place to sit, meditation can certainly help you refocus and refresh during the workday.
If you don’t have time or the right setting for it, try these tips for being more mindful throughout the workday:
- Start present, stay present. Start the workday off right by committing to staying present. Remind yourself of this each morning to set the tone for the day. Use a daily mantra if it helps, and post it in your workspace as a reminder throughout the day.
- Do one task at a time. Multi-tasking is often seen as an efficient way to work, but it isn’t. When you try to do more than one thing at a time, your attention to each suffers. Embrace mindfulness on the job by giving your full attention to one task at a time. The results will speak for themselves, and you’ll feel less stressed.
- Accept stress. Mindfulness includes acknowledging and accepting all your feelings as they arise. If work stresses you out today, don’t try to avoid it. Recognize, accept, and let the bad feelings flow through you. The sooner you recognize negative emotions, the sooner you’ll be over them.
- Take a stretching break. Your body suffers at work, especially when sitting at a desk all day. Take a few minutes to stretch and focus on how your body feels. Recognize each muscle as it stretches and releases tension.
- Start a mindfulness program. Why not bring mindfulness to everyone in the office? Talk to your boss or HR department about starting up a company-wide program. Studies of corporate mindfulness programs have shown they increase employee satisfaction and well-being and provide a significant return on investment.
If mindfulness is new to you, start with simple, guided meditations. Take just a few minutes each day to practice, and before long, you’ll be more aware and focused. You will begin to find it easier to stay in the present, whether at work or at home.
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