We are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of mindfulness, but have you considered being mindful in work?
In all our day-to-day troubles, our work can be the environment that causes the most stress. For many of us, we are working to high targets, trying to meet deadlines, juggling phone calls, meetings and sometimes office politics. Then there are those of us that endure days of hard physical labour, sometimes being exposed to the hostile weather and putting in seemingly never-ending hours.
Whatever your line of work may be, you will at times experience pressure and it is important that your mind can stay in it’s most productive state. This is where mindfulness comes in. Many of us practice at home; some don’t feel the need to. Whatever your level may be, if you are experiencing stress in the workplace then these tips will help you become mindful in work; a the place where we spend a huge amount of our precious time.–
Check in with yourself
It is important to check in with yourself during your workday. Analyse your thoughts and feelings and the state of your mind. Are you feeling frustrated or anxious? By checking in and identifying these thoughts and feelings as they begin, we can take action to prevent them from taking a hold and worsening how we feel. If you identify any negatives thoughts or feelings move through the list to practice these mindful techniques to get you back on track again.
Not taking in enough oxygen can worsen the effects of anxiety and stress. By continuing not to breathe properly this will continue to exacerbate. Take a moment wherever you may be to do the following. Notice yourself breathing in and out and focus on that for a moment. Inhale and pause for a second before slowly exhaling all air from your lungs.
Repeat this for at least one minute; inhale, pause, exhale slowly. Imagine you are drawing in positive energy, the pause is allowing you to store this energy in your body and the long exhale is expelling all negative energy from your body.
As your breathing deepens, feel the tension release from your body.
Mini meditation combines the breathing exercise above with a visualization element. You need to identify a ‘good place’. Somewhere you feel safe and relaxed. It can be an actual place or feel free to use your imagination. Many people focus on a beach setting, or a woodland area. Some imagine relaxing at home in their favorite chair. Whatever your ‘good place’ may be, make sure you have the vision firmly in mind. Some people who struggle with visualization find that it helps to have a picture or photo of a place that makes them feel safe.
With this image in mind, begin the breathing exercise above. Once you have settled into this, become aware of your body starting at the bottom and moving upwards. Feel your feet upon the floor, the feel of your clothing as it brushes your legs. Move up towards your torso, feel the heat surrounding your organs, feel the energy as it flows from your body and out through your limbs
“Imagine the breath you are drawing in is cleansing your body, injecting it with good energy”
Now identify where any tension may be resting on your body, focus on these points while continuing your breathing. Imagine the breath you are drawing in is cleansing your body, injecting it with good energy. Your pause is storing it in the places you need it. Imagine when you breathe out that you are expelling the tension residing in your body. Do this for a minute, feel your body relax and slowly bring yourself back to the present.
It may seem like a lot, but with practice it is easy to bring your mind and body into this state. The whole process takes only a couple of minutes and by doing it where you are working nobody will have any idea that you are doing anything out of the norm.–
Focus on Task
Our workdays are built upon moving from task to task. Often times these begin to blur into one another, our minds wonder into thoughts of what we would much rather be doing. This can lead us to feel anxious about the quality of the work that we’re doing, can make our mind jump onto escapist thoughts and lessen the enjoyment of the work at hand.
Focus on the task at hand. If you’re typing, notice how your finger tips brush the surface of the keys, the noise it makes as you make your selection, and how each letter makes it’s appearance on the screen after the flashing cursor.
Doing this not only keeps you in the present moment, it vastly improves your concentration. If you do this several times a day it becomes easier and easier to stay focused on the tasks you are doing for longer periods of time. It also stops your mind from wondering onto thoughts that may be contributing to ill feeling.
This is the final tip for being mindful in work and it is not so much what you do in than as much as it is what you do as you leave. We all know what it’s like to have ‘one of those’ days. A day where nothing has seemed to go right, everyone you spoke to seemed to get you down, your later on projects etc and the worry is starting to build for the next day you’re faced with going in.
Let it go. Three simple words that seem mush easier said than done. But think about it, once you have left is there really anything more you can do? Unfortunately, we are going to be faced with obstacles, this can happen in all walks of life. What is the point of your mind still being firmly stuck in the workplace even though your body has left?
“Let it go. Three simple words that seem much easier said than done.”
A great way to do this is to think, “plan of action”. Identify the issue that is causing you worry. Is there anything you can do about it now? If so then do it and forget about it, if not then when is then next time you will realistically be able to solve the issue? Identify that point and make a mental note, or physically write down, that is the time you will address it. Even though the issue has not been resolved you have been proactive about it and the action of scheduling puts your mind at ease.
Try using this methods to being mindful in work. You’ll be astounded at the difference it leads to and by how much happier and more productive you will be.