You’ve probably heard a lot about mindfulness recently, but how can it be used in the workplace during a busy day?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness, in its simplest form, means awareness. The practice of mindfulness offers a way to pay attention to the present moment, switching off auto-pilot and being more aware of ourselves and surroundings, observing things the way they are.
What are the Benefits?
- Enhances health and wellbeing
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Reduces conflict
- Boosts productivity and performance
- A happier workforce
8 Ways to be More Mindful
1. Use Short Mindful Exercises
At the start of the day, or during your break, take 10 minutes to yourself to meditate. Sit upright, close your eyes and relax. Focus your attention on the experience of your breathing. Be aware of the physical sensations and how it feels. If your mind wanders (and it will), bring your concentration back to your breathing.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Take regular breaks from your work to gain perspective on what you are doing. Physical movement improves mental acuity so try to move around more throughout the day. Set an alarm to remind yourself to get up at different times.
3. Eat Mindfully
Mindfulness can be really powerful when it comes to food and eating behaviours. To practice mindful eating, you can:
- Plan your lunches and snacks in advance
- Keep a food diary for a week (note what you have eaten, when you ate and how you felt
- Take smaller bites and eat slower
- Listen to your body and stop when you're full
- Eat away from your desk, with no distractions
- Savour and enjoy your food
4. Be Present and Pay Attention
When listening to a colleague, we are often there in body but are not fully present. We're not truly listening. When someone is speaking to you, stop what you are doing and take the time to listen to them carefully. Don’t just hear their words; really listen to what they have to say.
5. Focus on one task at a time
A great way to practice mindfulness is single-tasking. Overcome the need to multi-task and try to focus on one task at a time. You can do this by:
- Planning your day
- Prioritising workload
- Grouping tasks into categories & giving yourself blocks of time for each
- Staying organised
6. Be Mindful in your Communications
Whether talking face to face or answering an email, take the time to pause and think before you speak or write. Watch the tone and language in your communication. Think about what you want to say and choose your words consciously. Is your response helpful? Is it clear? What would you like the outcome to be?
7. Step Outside
Take a walk outside, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Leave your phone at your desk so you can switch off and fully immerse yourself in the surroundings. Fresh air and nature is good for the soul.
8. Make Time for Self Reflection
At the end of the day, or in the evening, set aside some time for self-reflection. It can be hard to do this without judgement but try not to overanalyse and give yourself a hard time.
REMEMBER: Mindfulness takes practice. Set aside time each day to carry out mindful exercises and remind yourself to be truly present in the moment.