5 Ways to Be Mindful at Work

5 Ways to Be Mindful at Work  

 

If you regularly feel stressed out at work with back-to-back meetings, looming deadlines and you’re in a constant flux of feeling in over your head; creating a mindfulness practice can significantly ease the knots in your stomach and enable you to calmly handle whatever comes your way.  

 

What is mindfulness 

 

Have you ever eaten from a packet of biscuits and then suddenly realised the packet was empty? (Guilty!). Or arrive at your destination with no recollection of how you got there? We’ve all done it, and I’m sure most of us are experts on being mindless, so what does it mean to be mindful? Simply put; it means to be fully present in the moment, calmly acknowledging and accepting your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations with no judgement.  

 

The technique is said to have derived from Buddhism, but don’t let that put you off, as mindfulness is a therapeutic tool for everyone. You don’t have to be spiritual or have any particular beliefs to do it.  

 

What are the benefits of mindfulness?  

 

By becoming more aware of the present moment, we can start to enjoy the world around us. If you are feeling anxious before a big meeting with a client, bringing awareness to your thoughts can allow you to step back from them and start to recognise any patterns.  

 

For those who have tried it, mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety and other harmful emotions. The most common benefits reported include improved physical and mental health and generally improved well-being.  

 

Not only that but according to a 2012 study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, mindfulness improves our ability to focus and make decisions. This could be the tool which helps you stay on top of your game, and boss your demanding schedule.  

 

Truly’s Top 5 Techniques  

 

  1. Body Scan 

 This is where you move your attention slowly through different parts of your body. Start from the top of your head moving all the way down to the end of your toes. You can gently note on any physical feelings of tension, relaxation, temperature, or tingling as you scan down the body.  

 

 

  1. Mindful Moving  

Pop out the office for a few minutes to take a brisk walk and get some fresh air. As you walk, feel the breeze on your body, notice the surface of the ground as you walk and the muscles in your legs contract. 

 

  1. Object Observation  

Choose an object which is easily accessible, for example a piece of fruit in your bag. Pay careful attention to the way the fruit looks, how the fruit feels, how your skin responds to its manipulation, its smell, its taste.  

 

By focusing on the fruit and making a point to notice everything about it, you are unlikely to be expending energy, time and attention on worrying or ruminating on workplace stresses.  

 

  1. Five Senses Check  

This is something you can practise quickly is nearly all situations. All you need to do is notice something you are experiencing with each of these five senses.  

 

  • Notice 5 things you can see  
  • Notice 4 things that you can feel 
  • Notice 3 things that you can hear  
  • Notice 2 things you can smell 
  • Notice 1 thing you can taste 

 

  1. Three Minute Breathing Space  

This exercise is quick to do, and an easy one to begin with when honing your mindfulness practice at work. All you need is three minutes, and ideally a quite space. If possible, consider booking out a meeting room for 5 minutes.  

 

  • Spend the first minute asking yourself; “How am I doing right now?” Focus on any thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise, and simply note them with no judgement.  

 

  • Spend the second minute focusing your attention on your breath. Take slow deep breaths through your nostrils and out through your mouth.  

 

  • Spend the third minute on the expansion of attention solely on the breath. Feel the chest rise and fall, and how your body feels when you exhale.  

 

When you feel ready, resume back to your tasks at hand, hopefully feeling calmer, refreshed and focused. Remember; you can come back to these techniques at any point throughout the day.  

 

Mindfulness works best when practised regularly. Gradually you can train yourself to notice when your thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply just that; thoughts, and that they do not have control over you. The most important thing though, is that you will have full awareness whilst chomping down that last biscuit, and be able to fully enjoy every.single.delicious.bite!  

 

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