Mindfulness at work
Practicing mindfulness at work is an important way to center yourself, increase focus, and achieve inner balance to your life. In essence, mindfulness is the state of being aware and fully present in the moment.
Practicing mindfulness has several benefits for both your physical and mental health. A few minutes a day can make a significant impact on your overall health, leading to lower stress level as well as improvement in your focus and productivity.
Here are 5 benefits of practicing mindfulness at work:
1. Better Focus
Mindfulness can be defined as the state of being present in the moment which means you can focus completely on present actions, company, and events around you.
2. Better Mental and Physical Health
Practicing mindfulness regulates your emotions and stress levels. This means preventing negative side-effects to your physical health such as high blood pressure, increased chances of a heart attack, and other health issues.
3. Improved Relationships at Work and at Home
Mindful practice is linked to higher emotional intelligence. As such, you’re more self-aware and social aware. This naturally leads to better relationships both at work and at home.
4. Increased Creativity
Regular mindfulness exercises at work can lead to increased creativity which means you can come up with more creative solutions to everyday problems.
5. Greater Resilience
Lastly, mindfulness allows you to approach stressful situations more calmly and objectively, you adapt more quickly and are more resilient.
How to practice Mindfulness at work
Below, you’ll find three different techniques that you can start incorporating into your daily schedule.
1. Body Scan
The first practice on the list is a meditation practice known as body scan. This practice allows you to immediately become present and aware of your body and the moment you’re in. A basic body scan looks like this:
- Lie on your back with feet slightly apart and palms facing upward.
- Lie still and start by focusing on your breath, noticing the rhythm of your breathing and becoming aware of the breath going in and out of your body.
- Then become aware of how your body feels, the feeling of the surface below you, and the temperature of the environment around you.
- Next, direct your attention to how individual parts of your body feel, going from the top of your head to the very tips of your toes or vice versa, become aware of any sore or tingling parts of your body and make a note of parts of your body where you don’t feel any sensations at all.
- Once you’ve scanned the entire body and became aware of it, you go back to the present moment and instruct you to slowly open your eyes.
2. Become a Single Tasker
A great number of us are guilty of multitasking. Juggling multiple tasks at once can actually lead to burnout and low productivity. Instead of making the same mistake, start by focusing on a single task at a time. You can use the Pomodoro technique, a time management method to help you achieve this at first.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a single task. This counts as one Pomodoro, after which you’re entitled to a 5-minute break.
- Once your 5-minute break is up, start another Pomodoro and focus on the same task as before (if you have yet to complete it) or start working on another task.
- Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, you can take a longer break.
This Pomodoro technique also helps you to estimate how long it takes you to complete a particular activity as well as measure how effective you are in completing tasks.
3. Observe the Environment
The next practice is known as mindful observation, dedicating your full attention to your surroundings. An easy way to start this practice is to concentrate and focus on one object for at least five minutes.
- Find an object in your environment. This can be a pen or pencil, a notebook, a leaf, a flower, a plant or any other object.
- Set a timer for five minutes.
- Take the object and focus your attention on it. Notice how the object feels in your hand. Notice the colour, the texture, the shape, the weight and other properties.
This practice allows you to align your thoughts with your experience and focus on the present moment.
BY FRANK KUIJSTERS
Director – Digne Consult Asia Pacific