Workplaces can get very stressful at times, no matter what your job is. Things often get hot in meetings, distractions keep you from completing important tasks, or sometimes, you just feel too overwhelmed to function. Tight deadlines, tough schedules, difficult conversations – there is too much to handle! One of the best ways to cope with such situations is mindfulness. Read on to learn about practicing mindfulness at work.

What is Mindfulness at Work?

Mindfulness is the concept of relaxing your mind and body to focus on the present moment. Being mindful means being aware and accepting of your bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions, and the surrounding environment.

Human minds tend to get clouded by unnecessary and negative thoughts from time to time. Practicing mindfulness at work trains your mind to return to the present moment whenever it gets distracted. It ultimately makes your days less stressful and more productive by helping you stay on track.

How to Practice Mindfulness at Work

Take Mindful Breaks

Many people believe taking breaks throughout the day is a waste of time. In reality, it’s the other way around; not taking breaks is what actually wastes your time. This is because your mind starts to tire as the day progresses, making you lose focus. Consequently, you take more time to complete a task than required or can’t get things done at all.

Taking short, mindful breaks throughout the day helps you get back to work with renewed energy and focus. Set a timer on your phone at regular intervals that remind you to pause and relax. Go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, or just sit quietly in your breaks – anything that rejuvenates your mind!

Practice Mindfulness before Meetings

Meetings are an integral part of work schedules. You must attend every meeting with an active mind, whether leading or just participating. But isn’t it difficult to focus in a meeting when tons of thoughts run through your brain? This is where mindfulness can help.

Taking out a few minutes to clear your mind before, during, and after a meeting results in more productive outcomes.

  • Before: Plan your points and questions well, take deep breaths, and leave any negative thoughts behind.
  • During: Listen carefully, think before speaking, and notice the moods and energy levels of others.
  • After: Recall the key points of the meeting and think about what you should do next.

Enjoy a Mindful Lunch

What better time than a lunch break to practice mindfulness at work?

Mindful eating not only helps you break away from a stressful chain of thoughts but also improves your digestive system. But what exactly is mindful eating? Well, it just means no gadgets, no discussions, and no other distractions – your only focus should be your food!

You can enjoy a mindful lunch in the following ways.

  • Turn off all notifications during your lunch hour.
  • Feel the food’s texture, enjoy its aroma, and notice its color.
  • Chew properly to relish every bite.
  • Feel the gratitude of having good food on your plate.

Try Deep Breathing to Relax

Let’s talk about breathing – a simple and common yet the most effective technique to calm down! Deep breaths can pull your mind out of the hurricane of thoughts and anchor it to the here and now. This highly versatile mindfulness activity helps you regain control over your mind in all kinds of situations, whether dealing with a strict manager, a bossy colleague, or a challenging project.

Practice Gratitude

Feeling and expressing gratitude is another sure-shot way to stop your mind from drifting to unwanted, negative thoughts.

Challenges are bound to come with the inherent work of nature, but you should not let them take over your mind. Stressing over your problems doesn’t solve them, so why not look for positivity in every situation?

There are a lot of ways to stay grateful and positive in difficult situations – maintain a gratitude journal, tell others what you appreciate about them, or talk to others about what they are grateful for.

Learn to Live in the Moment

Mindfulness is not just about yoga, meditation, or exercises – you don’t need to block a huge chunk of time from your schedule to practice mindfulness. It’s more about grabbing opportunities to relax your mind in between your routine tasks.

Let’s talk with examples.

  • Focus on the water running through your hands when you wash them.
  • Detangle your thoughts while commuting
  • Take deep breaths while walking up the stairs.

Such tiny moments might not seem like a big deal, but they can help you decompress and smoothly transition between tasks.

Talk to a Mindful Friend

Ever heard the saying, ‘Two heads are better than one?’ It means two people can reach a better solution than a single person. So, it’s better to talk to a friend about your concerns rather than deal with your thoughts alone.

A quick chat with others helps you see things from a different perspective and figure out which tasks are more crucial at the moment. This is why a lot of firms have now introduced group sessions and activities dedicated to mindfulness.

Set Mindfulness Cues

Mindfulness may not even cross your mind while rushing through the day. Hence, you can set cues that remind you to pause and relax. These cues can be anything, from time and location to an event or your emotional state.

The examples below illustrate how you can set your own cues to practice mindfulness at work.

  • I will take a deep breath before entering the conference room.
  • I will go for a short walk before beginning a new task.
  • I will stop working for 5 to 10 minutes when I feel irritated.
  • I will think of three positive things whenever I print a document.