Why are some professionals and businesses more controlled, productive, enthusiastic and successful than others? A lot of it comes down to basic psychology. Stress at work can be damaging both to individual health and company efficiency. Mindfulness meditation is increasingly becoming a popular and highly beneficial way to reduce stress and improve focus.
Mindfulness and self-care are not merely a passing trend or fad like flares, over-sized sunglasses or those interesting skirt/trousers from the nineties. They are and should be an everyday necessity to keep both our minds and bodies healthy and happy and able to continue working each and every day we need to and not get burnt out and too tired.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others. It can simply give us just a moment, a few minutes, an hour just to stop and breathe and avoid the overwhelm that a lot of work and a busy life can bring.
So, what techniques of mindfulness can we employ in the workplace in order to create a much more relaxed atmosphere and improve workplace wellbeing?
Take a Breath
Take a moment and breathe. Life is busy, phone’s ring, emails ping, mobiles vibrate with notifications and alerts from apps and social media, and it’s nonstop. What to do first, read the email? Answer the phone? Check the notifications? Right from the moment we hit go in the morning it can be like this, so should you try and do everything first and all at once?
No, be still – practice having a moment or two without any distractions. A time to stop, breathe, think about breathing and let go of everything. It doesn’t just have to be the first thing you do; it can be any time you’re feeling frantic. Just silence everything or find a quiet space just for a moment and breathe.
Find Your Focus
Learn to walk before you can run. An old saying, and one that can easily be applied to developing a mindfulness approach. Concentrate on one thing first and worry about the next activity once you have achieved the first one. This can be helped by writing out a to-do list and popping it in order of priority. Then simply cover all tasks on the list you are not currently working on so you can only see your current task.
By simplifying the task list and concentrating on one thing at a time, you are more likely to focus and perform better than juggling three or four things at once.
Whether it is a big win or a small win, the completion of a long-term task or a hard 5-minute phone call with a difficult client, whatever size or impact your achievements may be, reflect on them and accept them. Better yet, celebrate them.
By achieving something in the moment, you will allow yourself and reward yourself for what you have done well without rushing on to the next task. Even if it’s celebrating by internally giving yourself a pat on the back, treating yourself to a delicious coffee or going all out and booking a table at a nice restaurant or grabbing a takeaway on the way home. Celebrate it. We all need to feel like we have achieved something.
You might think this isn’t for you and that no big, serious businesses would employ mindfulness techniques to improve workplace wellbeing and morale… but you’d be wrong. Even world-wide corporations like eBay and Google are using mindfulness in the office. If you’re not, then perhaps it’s time to catch up!
My name is Selina Johnson and I'm a Business Support Expert providing Virtual Business Support to businesses. We help SME's with administrative, technical and creative support so you are free to grow your business and increase your profits.
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