Imagine Health

Mindfulness for the Workplace

Work can be a demanding atmosphere. We may have lots of commitments, deadlines and various other pressures. We can often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work. Before you know it, you find yourself physically tensed up and holding your breath trying to get through the mountains of work you have ahead of you. One way to combat this feeling and even prevent it, is to practice mindfulness in the workplace.

One definition of Mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”.

In work, we constantly have hundreds of thoughts going around and round in our minds, which can often ignite a feeling of stress and overwhelm. By focusing our awareness onto one particular task at a time, we can instantly feel more control over our environment, actions and feelings. Mindfulness can be seen as a way to reprogram your mind to think in a healthier and less stressful way.

Many people associate being mindful with full meditation. You do not have to sit cross legged for hours on end to practice mindfulness. Follow the below steps and learn how you can implement mindfulness into your typical workday.

How can you practice mindfulness in the workplace?

Take a step back. When you feel that things are starting to pile up on you, take a moment to take a step back and breathe.

Realign your focus. Pick one thing to focus your full attention on for a specific period of time. This can range from 1 minute to 10 minutes, whatever suits you best to give it your full attention.

Concentrate. Now give whatever particular task you are doing your full attention. If you feel your mind wandering, that’s ok and completely normal, but gently pull it back to focus on the task at hand.

Be Aware. Pay attention and be aware of the different thoughts and feelings that come into your head when you are being mindful of the moment. Do you find that there are certain parts of your body you are more aware of right now? Can you hear things outside that you wouldn’t typically hear? Pay close attention to these details.

Appreciate. Finally, once you have engaged in some form of mindfulness, take a moment to understand what it was like for you to do that. Did you feel more in control and concentrated on the task at hand? Did it give you a sense of achievement, having completed a task after giving it your full undivided attention?

Therefore, these mindfulness tips are not only for when working on specific tasks. They also can help you navigate difficult situations that may arise between colleagues, or the workplace moral. Use these mindfulness tips to help you centre yourself and focus on one small thing at a time.

By Nicola Keane