When you’re constantly surrounded by the threat of deadlines, swamped with meetings, and the stress of meeting the client’s requirements, it can be challenging to draw a calming breath and relax in the workplace. Stress can make it harder for you to slow down and even catch a rest after work.
To counter that stress, you might try mindfulness meditation or other relaxation techniques at home, but what if I told you that you can practice mindfulness at the workplace and say goodbye to stress then and there where it manifests?
Mindfulness might be a new concept for many of you, but it’s also one of the most straightforward relaxation practices you can undertake. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment without judgment and accepting your emotions as they are. This relaxation technique helps you focus on what you’re doing at the moment and shut out all mindless distractions and thoughts.
When you put mindfulness to practice, it allows you to become involved in what you’re doing and become more productive and proactive in your tasks. It also allows your body to release stress and feel more satisfied with yourself (and the people around you) in the workplace.
Now, let’s see how mindfulness at the workplace can benefit you, why it’s important to be mindful at work, and how you can practice being mindful in the workplace.
Mindfulness At Work: What It Looks Like?
Mindfulness is more than just focusing on the present moment. It’s also about not judging yourself or what’s happening around you, but observing it all with a calm and rational mind. When you are being mindful in the workplace, you allow yourself to see what’s happening around you, avoid responding with bias, and appreciate your relationships with your coworkers and superiors.
Here’s an instance you might find relatable; when you take a deep breath and then focus on your work until you finish your task is what being mindful in the workplace can look like.
During this time, you’re solely focused on your task and avoid distractions. This allows you to finish your work on time without feeling overwhelmed or stressed about not meeting your deadlines.
Now, in the same instance; when, instead of solely focusing on the task, you think about your weekend plans, after-work plans, all the other errands you need to complete, or about how your coworker is handling their task, are all examples of not being mindful in the workplace.
The Importance Of Being Mindful In The Workplace
In a study published in 2015, it was found that mindfulness at work can have many benefits including workplace engagement, better mood all around, and increased productivity as well as an increase in your overall well-being.
When you practice being mindful at work, you avoid engaging in multitasking. While I can understand that multitasking saves a lot of time and might even feel like a good thing to practice when you’re swamped with work, it can have many drawbacks.
When you multitask, it forces you to work on different tasks, and switching tasks frequently can add to your stress on your cognitive health, speed, and productivity. Switching between tasks is not going to help your case and will only manage to affect your efficiency and accuracy.
In another older study published in Clinical Psychology Review, it was noted that mindfulness at the workplace can be important to your overall health as it can;
Improve your overall well-being
Improve your behavioral response
Reduce symptoms of stress and distress
Improve your control over emotional reaction
Improve work relationships
When it comes to work relationships, a larger part of it may depend on how you approach your coworkers and superiors. Instead of judging what others in your workplace say or do, mindfulness allows you to focus without;
Lashing out at others
Criticizing them, or
Comparing your workload with others
It’s important to note that to practice mindfulness at your workplace, you need to keep practicing, but more than that you need to understand what mindfulness in the workplace is all about. Now, if you don’t know what mindfulness is or how to achieve it, the outcome would be very poor.
So, you need to understand how mindfulness works and how you can add mindfulness to your daily routine for it to work and benefit your health.
Here are 4 easy ways to be mindful in the workplace!
Ways To Be Mindful In The Workplace
It takes a lot of time and practice to truly implement mindfulness in your routine. It’s OK if you’re not perfect during the first few tries; just don’t give up. Here are 4 simple ways you can be mindful in the workplace;
1. Slow Down And Breathe
Try to slow down your pace and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Use your senses to ground yourself in the present moment. You need to let go of the thoughts in your head and accept it all as it is.
Also, take this time to breathe. Nothing too extravagant; a simple conscious breathing exercise can work wonders.
2. Attend A Mindfulness Workshop
If you would like to learn how mindfulness works and how the practice can help you in your workplace, then try to attend a mindfulness workshop.
A workshop can offer guides on what you can do to reduce stress at the workplace, provide resources, and even help locate group sessions on mindfulness.
3. Learn To Be Present
Being present in the moment can be challenging when you don’t know what it entails. There are a lot of things that need to be done such as meeting work deadlines, running home errands, and other social obligations that can prevent you from being present in the moment.
To avoid all these life stresses, try to practice being present in the workplace. Here are some quick mindfulness approaches you can do at your workplace to avoid stress later in the evening;
4. Take One Task At A Time
It’s normal to have too many tasks at hand in a single day, but it does not mean that you need to take all the tasks at once. It’s OK to slow down and focus on one task at a time. After all, it’s one of the main aspects of mindfulness at the workplace.
This approach can allow you to better manage your time (and tasks) and ensure efficiency as well as accuracy in completing tasks. Another benefit of this approach is that it boosts your mood as you finish a task and reduce your stress.
Mindfulness at the workplace can be a starting point for a happier and more productive work routine. This practice allows you to focus on your present moment and react calmly as well as rationally when a troubling situation at work pops up. Being mindful in the workplace can help improve your work relationships, achieve more, and feel satisfied with your work.
Mindfulness can be challenging if you’re a beginner but with time and practice, you will soon find mindfulness an approach as easy as other stress reduction techniques.
If you’re struggling with being mindful in the workplace, you can seek workshops or group sessions to learn more about mindfulness. Or you can also reach out to a therapist or a life coach who can help you understand the aspects of mindfulness, and give you tips and tricks.
Mindfulness can make your life easier – not just for yourself but for others around you as well.
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