One of my goals for the new year is to live more in the moment and learn to enjoy life a bit more. This idea is becoming more and more prevalent as society becomes torn in so many different directions. Since most of my day is spent working, learning how to be mindful at work is an important first step. Mindfulness is the buzzword of 2017. If you want to be more mindful at work, here are a few tips as well as a few affiliate links for items you may find helpful for your journey.
What is mindfulness?
According to the dictionary, 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.” Basically, the idea of mindfulness says that you CAN be stressed out. But, you can only be stressed out about the thing you are doing RIGHT NOW. Not the other 47 things that have to be done next week. It stresses being in the moment. Learn to taste your food, smell the rain, focus on one thing at a time, and let go of things you have no control over. Mindfulness at work can be a challenge, however.
Start with a Mindful Morning
The key to being more mindful is to start your day off right. The way you start your day will play a big part in your overall outlook on life, as well as the choices you make throughout your work day.
Have a positive morning mantra. Before you even get out of bed, begin with a short affirmation. Sit up in bed, breathe deeply, close your eyes, and remind yourself that you will do your best and that is all you can do. Remember to be thankful for the things you have and that today is the BEST day. Does that phrase sound familiar?
“What day is it,?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne
Turn off the news, social media, and other media that may give you a negative start to your day. Don’t check your email before you start work. Focus on you, your health, and being in the moment. Even if that moment is your kid screaming because you gave him the red cup instead of the green cup!
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How to be Mindful at Work
It’s easy to be mindful in the yoga studio or walking through the woods on a beautiful fall day. You need to learn how to be mindful at work, though. When your boss is asking for that report that isn’t finished and your meeting ran so late that you missed lunch. Here are a few ideas to help you increase mindfulness at work to help reduce stress and improve health.
- Be a single tasker: I am guilty of multitasking my life and am working on this one, myself. Choose a task from your to-do list. Do it from start to finish. Then move on to the next item. If you are interrupted with something that cannot be put off, focus all your efforts on the new item before moving back to your original task.
- Reduce work distractions: In order to single task, you need to reduce your distractions. Put your cell phone in a desk drawer and close out all tabs on your computer that you do not need. Log out of social media, close your email, and focus on your one task. Close your office door and set your office phone to go directly to voice mail. You want to minimize anything that will take you out of the present moment.
- Make time for meditation: Instead of hitting the breakroom for your 15-minute break, or working through it entirely, make time for meditation. Try walking meditation to recenter your mind while you improve circulation.
- Use mindful reminders: There are many ways we can remind ourselves to be mindful during the work day. It is easy, unfortunately, to forget to be mindful during the day! Set an alarm on your phone or add an alert to your daily calendar to remind you to be in the present moment. Put up a post it note or a full blown mindfulness vision board to help get your mind back into the present.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Learning how to be mindful at work has many benefits! Mindfulness improves your ability to handle stress. It also may improve your overall health since stress is definitely bad for our physical well-being. Being more mindful can:
- Reduced your stress levels
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improved your memory
- Lessen the effects of depression and anxiety
Mindfulness may also improve productivity, help us make better decisions, and lessen the number of sick days that employees take. Make sure to mention these things to your boss if they give you a hard time about your mindfulness journey!
Have any other tips on how to be mindful at work? Please share!
Like this post? Check out this on on simple meditation tips!
Get more information about mindfulness
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.