Employee Wellness: 5 Ways You Can Practice Mindfulness at Work
Work can be exhausting, especially if you are seated or staring at your screen for long periods of time. The workplace can get demanding, competitive, and sometimes even stressful. This can prevent you from being productive, managing your time efficiently, and maintaining your focus. This is where mindfulness can be beneficial. Studies have shown that mindfulness can help reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and regulate emotions. In addition, mindfulness increases focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility.
How Can I Be More Mindful at Work?
Taking time to pause and be more mindful at work is a great way to reset yourself at any time during the day. If meditation is not your thing, there are many other mindfulness techniques you can put into practice on those chaotic days:
1. Try free guided meditation activities
Watch a guided meditation video on YouTube or download and use your favorite mindfulness apps.
Even a 5-minute guided meditation video or audio can help ground yourself and provide a short, peaceful break from your day.
2. Take regular breaks
Plan to take all your scheduled breaks. Not taking breaks is not a better use of your time. In fact, missing breaks can make you less productive and even cause severe burn-out syndrome.
Don't be afraid of taking additional mini breaks during your day, for example, in between long meetings. Use this time to practice any of your favorite mindfulness exercises. Even a 3-minute screen-free break can make a difference.
3. Take mindful walks
During breaks or at some point during lunch, removing yourself from the office to get some fresh air and go for a walk. This can help you clear your mind and come back fresh to continue with your tasks.
If you can't get outside, take advantage of any break time to walk around your building.
4. Listen to your body
The goal of mindfulness is not about stopping from thinking. Rather, the point is to pay close attention to your physical and emotional sensations. This can help you check in and see if there is anything your body needs.
For example, if you need to go to the restroom, drink some water, have some food, or even stretch, prioritize what your body is asking you for.
5. Practice gratitude
Practice gratitude with coworkers and yourself. Take a moment to think about what you and your team have accomplished.
This moment of reflection can help when feeling overwhelmed and set yourself back to a productive mindset.
Mindfulness vs Multitasking
A lot of people might believe that multitasking makes you a more productive person, however, there are plenty of studies suggesting otherwise. Not being fully present when multitasking has more of a negative of impact on the quality of your work than a positive one. The myth of multitasking can make us believe we are working at our maximum capacity, but in reality, it is causing stress and pressure. On the other hand, mindfulness practices help us during these stressful moments that affect our capacity to function efficiently.
Why is Mindfulness Important?
Practicing mindfulness in the workplace is important when dealing with deadlines, distractions, or other stressors that are taking the focus away from your duties. When being mindful, it is easiest to be less judgmental and critical about your work and those around you. If we train ourselves to be more present at work by practicing mindfulness, we become more aware and productive.
Written by Samantha Prieto, Wellness Workdays Intern