In recent years, employers of all shapes and sizes have recognised the benefits of looking after their teams mental health and promoting wellbeing at work, helping employees to manage stress levels, stay focused and increase cooperation and workplace loyalty.
Mindfulness at work, in particular has become an increasingly popular choice for employers committed to supporting staff to develop resilience in response to workplace stressors. As a practice, Mindfulness is relatively easy to learn. It involves paying attention to sensations that arise from moment to moment, while holding certain attitudes, such as patience and non-judging, in mind.
Even a single workshop can have immediate benefits for people, positively impacting them both at work and in their personal lives. People that undertake a course however, are much more likely to commit to ongoing practice which will enable the benefits of being mindful in all aspects of their lives.
Mindfulness at Work – Key Benefits
- Reduces anxiety – whatever is happening, it’s possible to remain calm and in control
- Increases resilience – where difficulties arise, those that practice mindfulness are able to bounce back faster
- Increases focus and concentration – with a steady mind, it’s easier to retain focus on important tasks and projects
- Increases emotional intelligence – those that practice mindfulness tend to be more objective about their emotions and to act and speak in ways that are helpful
Mindfulness at Work – 5 Top Tips
1. Start with Gratitude
Before you arrive for work, take some time to notice the environment on your journey. Generate a sense of thanks for what you have in your life, including your body to take you to work, your mind to complete tasks and your workplace and work colleagues. Regardless of your actual circumstances, generate a positive intention to be the best you can be on this day, making a valuable contribution and enjoying good relationships with people. All of this will set you up for a successful day; ensuring your thoughts are positive at the start will affect the way you act, which others will notice and appreciate.
2. Give Everyone your Full Attention
No matter who you have to talk to during the day, whether it’s face-to-face or on the phone, or sending an email, your communication will be vastly improved if you can give that person all of you in that moment. Good active listening skills come in here as well as speaking in ways that will be helpful to the situation at hand, which includes knowing when silence is the right contribution. Organisations can often be very hierarchical, but when it comes to being present with people, this shouldn’t matter – listen, speak and write to everyone as if they are all equally worthy of your attention, because they are!
3. Do One Thing at a Time
Despite what the term implies, multi-tasking is not actually doing several things at once. It involves moving attention quickly from one thing to another, giving the illusion that we are doing several things at once. If you try to move too quickly between tasks or juggle too many things at once, the quality of your work is inevitably affected and you might occasionally drop the ball. It is possible to work mindfully instead, giving all your attention to one thing at a time, while also working efficiently. In fact, you’re much more efficient when you work this way, as your mind isn’t distracted by jumping around.
4. Come Back to Your Breath and Body
The core practice of mindfulness involves awareness of the breath and the body. At work, you may spend hours dwelling entirely in your head, unaware of your body and your breath. To stop being completely caught up in your mind, you can quite simply remember to bring your attention back to your breathing. You can set a timer on your PC or laptop to remind you to do this or you can do it at key intervals, such as before or after meetings or in between big tasks. Doing this simple activity several times a day doesn’t take long, yet enables you notice and release any tension in your body while, at the same time, keeping your work tasks in perspective.
5. Be Aware of When You’re Starting to Feel Overwhelmed
Most of us have experienced occasions where work becomes overwhelming and our normal ability to cope or bounce back appears to be dysfunctional. By practicing mindfulness, you will become aware of changes to your physiology, your emotions and your thoughts in advance of when the crisis point is reached. You can learn to recognise the early signs and take action to support yourself in that moment. This might involve asking someone for help to complete a task, booking some time out or reaching out for some formal support. Put simply, earlier recognition of the signs of excess stress allow you to do something about it sooner.
Mindful Me can work with you to bring mindfulness into your workplace. We are based in Milton Keynes and serve a wide geographical area and we have partners throughout the UK if you live further afield.
We can offer one-off mindfulness taster classes, relaxation classes, meditation classes, mindful movement classes and the following courses/workshops:
> Mindfulness for Workplace Resilience – 8 hour course, normally delivered in 2 half days
> Mindfulness for Workplace Coaches and Mentors – 8 hour course, normally delivered in 2 half days
> Mindful Communication and Conflict Resolution – half day workshop
We can also tailor any of our classes and courses to meet your needs. Please just get in touch.