The tech we carry around in our pockets is a constant distraction, making us feel busy, stressed and less than human. We all need downtime, to recharge and recalibrate. It’s difficult at times to stay relaxed and alleviates pressure and that’s where Mindfulness Training can make a huge difference.
Being mindful means being concentrated on the present moment instead of thinking about the past or the future. It’s about being centered on the now. The past we cannot change and the future is not certain, all we have is right now – the present moment. You can be more with less by simplifying your life. Mindfulness creates an elevated, peaceful state of mind and if you manage to achieve it while at work, it can have numerous benefits. There’s a number of ways to implement mindfulness at work if you have the right training. This article explores some of the key principles.
‘Bringing’ Mindfulness to Work
Mindfulness techniques such as meditation bring numerous benefits including stress relief, improved health, better cognitive function, as well as increased self-confidence and empathy. These are the foundations for building a great workplace culture. This shift in workplace culture can have a significant impact on your workforce. Here is some research data to prove it:
1. After taking part in a mindfulness program that lasted for 10 weeks, several palliative healthcare professionals reported reduced anxiety, stress, and exhaustion, as well as improved mutual communication and feelings of happiness.
2. The executives from a big oil company who participated in a mindfulness program reported improved sleep patterns, better blood pressure, reduced levels of cortisol, as well as improved overall health.
3. The participants in a ‘yoga at the workplace’ program reported better productivity, lowered aggression, and reduced negative feelings.
Studies have shown that mindfulness helps people build better mutual relationships in the workplace, as well as better collaboration, improved empathy, and the ability to cope with challenges. In addition, mindfulness improves performance, the ability to solve problems, and boosts memory and focus.
Mindfulness Techniques at the Workplace
Mindfulness techniques give the best results when practiced in a group. Here is what you and your coworkers can do to make your workplace a more relaxed and productive space.
• Meditation. Meditation techniques include focusing your attention on breathing and body movements, visualization, repeating a certain sound or a short phrase either out loud or in your mind.
• Special movement techniques. For those that can’t be still for a longer time, techniques like tai chi and yoga are great to relax the body and mind.
• Guided imagery. Guided imagery means being guided through calming mental images by following the description of a peaceful place with the purpose to relax you.
Mindfulness strategies do not require any special equipment; a quiet room is all you need to get started. As a workplace, you could book a certified mindfulness instructor to visit your workplace two or three times a week. If your workplace does not value it, perhaps you could organize colleagues and practice mindfulness techniques during your lunch break.
What If Your Colleagues Are Not Interested?
If your coworkers are not interested, you can practice mindfulness on your own. You can ask your superiors to allow you to use an empty office or meeting room for meditation during breaks. That way, you won’t disrupt others in their work. If this isn’t feasible, there are other options to practice mindfulness.
• Mindful strolling. Get out for a mindful stroll during your lunch break. Focus on your footsteps and the way you move, as well as the sensations you feel. Is the weather cool or windy? Are the birds chirping? In other words – be in the present moment.
• Mindful eating. Find some quiet place and eat your lunch away from your colleagues. Again, focus on the food you’re eating – its smell, texture, color, and taste. Make sure to detect how hungry you are when you start eating and the moment you feel full.
• Mindful breathing. This short meditation technique consists of three simple slow, long breaths and will take you no more than 30 seconds. Just find a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
• Gratitude. No matter how chaotic your surroundings are, find a moment to think about what you have and what makes you grateful or happy. It could be the fact that you’ve just got promoted or something simple like your colleague’s good mood.
It’s not always simple to incorporate mindfulness into your hectic workday but it’s definitely time well spent. Focus on the moment and keep calm. It will help you reduce stress levels and be more effective at work. Once the stress is reduced, you might realize that you actually love your job again!