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Practicing Mindfulness at Work
The idea of mindfulness originated from the Buddhist monks. The practice of staying mindful and present at the moment. This ideal has transitioned to western culture to deal with stressors and anxieties that life may bring us. Although we may not be praying in Buddhist temples, being mindful and practicing mindfulness can change your perspective and help alleviate tension in the mind.
The great thing about mindfulness is that it does not have to be a grand gesture. You can practice it throughout the day, especially when you are the most stressed, and that can be during work. Here are some of the best practices to introduce mindfulness into your workday.
Stop what you’re doing and breathe
We all know work can be chaotic. There are a million things that can get done during the day, and it can be hard to catch your breath or give yourself a moment. When you start to feel overwhelmed, stop everything you are doing, and focus on your breath.
One of the most effective ways to wiggle out of your thoughts and drop into the present is to focus on breathing. Don’t necessarily control your breath but be still and notice it. Feel the rise and fall of your chest and focus on how your body feels.
We are so regularly stimulated that we forget we aren’t our thoughts. It can be a challenge, but checking in with your body and slowing down the racing thoughts in your mind is a marvelous way to clear your head and be present.
Once you’ve taken a moment to be with yourself, you will find that you will be more productive and at the moment while you work. The effects will not last all day, so make sure to take a few moments for yourself as you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Focus on a single task at hand
Multitasking can feel like it is time-efficient, but it isn’t as productive as we may think. When we multitask, our mind switches back and forth from one task to the other. As we do this, our brain loses information and is not effectively processing and analyzing data. Multitasking becomes less productive, even if it feels like we are killing two birds with one stone.
Instead of trying to complete two tasks at once, focus on completing one task at a time. The more thoughtful time and energy you take to complete a responsibility, the better it will be. Focus on one thing at a time will increase your performance ability, and there will be less space for error and a loss of information.
Give yourself time for small breaks
As mentioned before, taking moments for yourself throughout the day is a powerful way to reset your thoughts help you focus on the now. If you forget to give yourself these small moments when stress arises, you should allot time throughout the day.
Every hour or every other hour, set a silent alarm on your phone (even better if you have an apple watch) that will remind you to stop what you are doing and sink into the present moment. These moments can be as short as 1-2 minutes, or as long as you would like, but it is crucial to remember to give yourself small moments, especially during work.
Be present in conversations
When we have a conversation with other people and the other person is talking, it is easy for our minds to wander and live in a little daydream. Focusing on the present can be the most challenging part of it all, but catch yourself falling into your thoughts and focus on the present conversation.
A couple of ways you can be present in a conversation is to focus on the features of the person who is talking to you. Take in their eyes, the way their mouth is moving, and their body language. Another way to stay in the present is to ask questions and keep your mind attentive to the conversation.
Overall, being mindful is not an easy task. Once you begin to sprinkle mindfulness into your day, you will immediately notice the positive benefits. We are always so distracted, and our minds are racing with thoughts, ideas, and tasks we have to complete, but allow yourself to have moments in the present. We hope that these tips help you stay mindful throughout the workday and benefit from the practice.