It may seem difficult to imagine practicing mindfulness in the context of our hectic work lives, considering the multitude of distractions and competing stressors we all face. However, these factors are precisely why mindfulness is so vital. You don’t need to spend a lot of time or meditate every day to experience the benefits of mindfulness at work. Here are a few ways you can inject mindful moments into your day so you can be your best:
We all know how important rest is for the body. If you only got about two hours of sleep at night, you’d have no problem admitting that your body wasn’t performing to its highest potential the next day. However, when it’s your mind that you’ve been overworking, we seem to have a more difficult time admitting the need to slow down and pause. Taking some time to stop everything that you’re thinking and worrying about gives your mind time to rest.
It doesn’t have to be complicated: just simply stopping and focusing only on five or six deep, slow breaths in and out is enough to reset panicky thoughts. When you meet with others, focus on listening. When you walk, focus on your steps. Sometimes it is best not to multitask, and to simply be.
Keep It Short
Mindful exercises train your brain to be more mindful. There is an endless number of apps and sites offering guided meditations that are fantastic but finding time for a 30-minute mindful exercise can be impossible. But, even one minute of anything that you do to consciously connect with your senses counts as a mindful exercise. Be creative about finding time in the day to do it. The process helps to rebalance your nervous system, toning down the fight-or-flight response in your mind and body.
Focus on Gratitude
Humans tend to focus on the things that go wrong rather than on the things that go well. When you do this over and over, it eventually leads to an imbalance of negative thinking, and this attitude tends to color everything that you do throughout your day.
The remedy to that, according to ample research, is to actively practice gratitude. Focus on what’s going well with a project or in your job overall. Everything won’t always go perfectly, but there is always something positive to hold on to or learn from it.
Practicing mindfulness in the workplace enables us to feel empathy for others, enhances creativity, reduces stress, and may improve concentration – removing distractions and increasing capacity for problem-solving.