One of the most frequent questions I receive about Mindfulness is “How do I do this at work”. A perfectly legitimate question. Many of us have experienced guided meditations; we don’t necessarily feel comfortable sitting with our eyes closed for a mindfulness meditation in the office!
Make a conscious choice to be consciously present.
Whatever your task is at work, be consciously present in whatever it is you’re doing, whilst you’re doing it. Whatever the task is, whether it’s important or not, be completely present in what you are doing. You may consider choosing a routine task to start with and gradually increase your ‘presence’ each day.
When we try to multi-task, it triggers a fear response in the brain. This can potentially shut down our ability to think rationally and solve problems. Ultimately multi-tasking can increase stress; reduce accuracy; take longer as well as reducing the view we have of the overall picture. Of course, realistically, we have lots of different tasks to complete. My invitation is to take at least 30 seconds to focus on your breath as you move from one task to another.
It’s very easy to become immersed in the work of the day and end up on auto-pilot. As a result, we aren’t being fully present and able to notice the opportunities surrounding us. Setting a timer to go off at particular times during the day can give us a nudge to step out of autopilot into being present.
If you want to speed up, slow it down!
If you observe really effective leaders, you will notice that they often slow down, then breathe and reflect. This helps them make their best decisions. Next time you catch yourself rushing, take a couple of slow, deep breaths and slow it down. You may find that you too will make better decisions and reduce the chances of making mistakes.
Using mindful exercises at work.
Simply taking 60 seconds to connect with one of our senses can be a great way of bringing ourselves back into the present. There isn’t any need to close your eyes or even be sitting down. Try one minute every hour to fully connect with one of your senses.
Mindfulness doesn’t eliminate stress. Some stress can be very good for us so should we really try to get rid of it? What mindfulness can help us do is recognise the symptoms of stress; the changes that take place in our breathing, posture and tightness of muscles. If we begin to think about stress differently, if we are more aware of our body’s response to stress, then we are better able to choose how we react to it. We keep control of the situation rather than handing it over to stress.
I hope that you find this helpful.
If you have any questions concerning how to bring a more organised approach to
Mindfulness into your workplace please do get in touch at Contact Lou
Watch out for next week’s blog; I will be writing more about stress and how we can make it