Mindfulness seems to be the new buzzword today. Everyone discusses it but few people actually know what mindfulness really is. Here is a definition. 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, used as a therapeutic technique.’ Awareness is the cornerstone of mindfulness. Are you aware of your surroundings? Are you aware of the attitude you bring the office? Here are my 5 ways to practice mindfulness at work.
- Take time to be conscious
Yes, work is a routine. Oftentimes, you may do the same thing, but, remember that there’s a difference between Monday versus Tuesday versus Wednesday et cetera. Take time to take in a new day. View this mindfulness activity as a restart button. Being conscious that this particular day is different from yesterday helps you get off on the right path.
- Be mindful of eating breakfast
Most people want to skip breakfast and go straight to work but doing this has dire mental and dietary health consequences. From a mindfulness perspective, skipping breakfast means bypassing a daily time to process your thoughts. Breakfast can serve as an opportunity to be mindful and reflect on how you’re feeling before work starts. This meal serves as a buffer providing with you a chance to be still before the workday gets started.
- Use mindfulness to respond versus react
Things happen in the workplace. People get sick on presentation day. You get placed on a project without any knowledge on how to contribute. Life happens. Instead of automatically reacting, take time to process what’s happening and your feelings about it. This mindfulness activity lets you remove the raw feelings and knee-jerk reactions. Furthermore, this gives you the chance to be mindful of the long-term consequences from a short-term reaction.
- Apply mindfulness during your breaks
This is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Breaks give you a chance to recalibrate your thinking which you’ll need throughout the day. You can take 15 minutes to shift your thinking and use unorthodox problem-solving approaches. Some of my best breakthroughs have come during my morning and afternoon breaks.
- Practice mindfulness at the end of the work day
Has the day ended the way you wanted? If not, use your evening commute to apply mindfulness. Rewind the day and see where you could have responded better. Look for areas of improvement. Do you need to pack a healthier lunch? Does your workbag need more organization? If so, use this commute time to reclaim the rest of your day. In addition, you can still apply mindfulness at dinner, with your family and before bed. This evening gives you with the chance to think about a more meaningful future; because tomorrow is the future.
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