Our jobs occupy a significant portion of our time and can become a major source of stress. From long days, high-pressure environments, and challenging coworkers, there’s a high likelihood that you’ve felt stressed during the workday. No matter what your job is, practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress and improve focus.
What is Mindfulness?
Let’s start with a basic definition of what mindfulness even is. Although meditation is commonly associated with being mindful, that’s not the only way to understand the concept. Simply put, mindfulness is the act of paying focused attention to the present moment—in a way that practices acceptance and compassion for one’s self.
Meditation, however, can certainly help you find a place of mindfulness. For most of our days, our minds may wander. We’re distracted by a few hundred emails—or Slack notifications—and our minds jump from one thought to the next without any follow-through or calmness.
When you’re able to stay centered in the present moment and focused on the task at hand, you’re practicing mindfulness. And although it may be challenging to start implementing the habit of being mindful throughout your workday, it’s something to consider.
What’s The Point?
The goal of meditation, or mindfulness, isn’t to stop thinking— that’s a somewhat common misconception. Rather, the point is to pay attention to your body and to your mind without judgment. Heightening your awareness of your mind and body is essential to cultivating mindfulness.
When you’re done with work at the end of the day, try to practice truly being done. It can be helpful to become more judicious with technology and notifications. Try not to check your email constantly when you’re home. When you’re on the train or in the car on your commute home, turn on music and mute notifications; or better yet, take a few minutes to sit in silence with yourself. Focus on your breathing. Reflect on how your body feels. Take a moment to quiet your mind.
Taking the time to acknowledge your present moment can be incredibly empowering. And although it will certainly help you with your work day, it will also help train your mind to become more present and engaged when you spend time with friends and family.
So, how do you practice mindfulness on a daily basis during the workday?
Here are a few ideas:
Take occasional walks without headphones and allow yourself to consider your body and your mind
Pause for a few moments while eating your lunch and embrace the stillness
Turn your computer and cell phone on Do Not Disturb to allow yourself time to truly focus without distractions
Commit to answering emails at a few selected points during the day
Mute Slack channels that aren’t relevant to you
Spend a few moments at your desk focusing on your breathing
Consider practicing mindful meetings and ask team members to leave their phones and computers at their desks in order to practice mindful listening and active engagement
Practicing mindfulness is a habit that will take time to cultivate. Stick a note on your laptop or set reminders throughout the day telling yourself to pause every few hours and check in. Over time, developing the habit will allow your mind to calm and refocus—and you’ll be able to handle stress and pressure in a calm, productive way.
Connect with the industry’s most experienced team to learn more about creating a mindful workplace environment!