Mindfulness at Work
We’ve all been there. Those days at work when nothing seems to go right and you’re stressed out, can’t concentrate, and have zero patience with your colleagues or superior.
For the days that aren’t so great, mindfulness meditation can help to reduce stress, boost concentration, and promote compassion and clarity, leading to a healthier, more productive, and a more empathetic work environment.
- Reduce stress: High levels of stress flood your body with stress hormones, all day long, leading to exhaustion, premature aging, and increased frequency of illness and absenteeism. Even in high stress work environments – like the stock exchange – where stress is crucial to high achievement, meditation can be of great benefit in helping to manage stress in the particular moment.
- Mental clarity: When you’re stressed you often don’t give a task 100% of your attention. Practicing mindfulness can make you more present when completing tasks by increasing focus, eliminating distractions, and improving concentration, and in turn improving your overall work performance. It will also help connect you better to the overall goals and visions of your workplace.
- Compassion and empathy: Having a positive attitude towards others can go a long way in helping to diffuse or prevent any workplace conflicts that you may find yourself in or irritations that you may have with coworkers. Mindfulness meditation can help create an environment of tolerance and non-prejudice and improve teamwork efficiency. It can also help with self compassion and awareness, which goes hand in hand with confidence. Being confident means you will be better equipped when it comes to review time, asking for a raise, or if you are on the job hunt and going to interviews.
So the next time you’re at work and you start to feel like things are piling up, or you’ve done the same task three times, take a minute to practice the following mindfulness meditation, which can be done at your desk, in a meeting, or on your commute home.
1 minute breathing meditation:
- Stop whatever you are working on for just a minute (or 2 or 3 if you can spare the time) to take a few nice long deep breaths.
- With each breath you inhale think a phrase that is appropriate to how you are feeling right now, so for example if you are feeling anxious you could think something to the effect of “I am calm”, “Calm down” or even just the word “Calm”
- Focus on your key phrase (like “I am calm”) and let it soak into you, allow yourself to really FEEL the statement.
- Whatever phrase or word you select, make sure you choose positive wording. Rather than thinking “I am NOT anxious” think and FEEL the words “I am Calm” because the mind tends to ignore words like “Not” and hold onto what is left of the sentence!
In summary, practicing mindfulness at your workplace, wherever that may be, not only will help calm you, it will also help you be better at what you do and get along better with those you work with. It’s a win-win situation any way you look at it.
To your inner peace – Anna