Whether you work in an office at a cubicle, or you’re like me and you work from home, stress can be a silent killer. Our lives seemingly revolve around our work, and in our pursuit of success and happiness we’re only getting further away from our goal.
Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed and swept up in the chaos of it all does more harm than good. Practicing mindfulness can help you work smarter, not harder. Join us as we look at five unique ways you can immediately become more mindful at your office job.
Practicing mindfulness does more than just boost your mental health. It can also improve your physical health and even increase productivity. A study from the Academy of Management Journal found that people who take time to meditate at work are more productive and happier than those who do not.
Here are five tips you can start practicing today that will help you take advantage of all that mindfulness has to offer.
1. Live in The Moment
We’re all guilty of going through the motions. Sometimes it just feels like your entire life is on autopilot. It’s a coping mechanism, but it ultimately robs you of what it means to be alive. Instead of letting ourselves coast through the day, we should be consciously present in the moment.
Focus on what’s in front of you. Be aware of the task you’re working on, and be aware of what’s going on inside of your mind. Give that single job your full attention. Your mind will inevitably wander, but being mindful will help you pull it back to the present.
Start each day by making a decision to be present in the moment throughout your day. Work consciously and focused. You may feel like you’re working slower at first, but building this habit will ultimately make you more productive.
Most importantly, give each moment your undivided attention. Whether you’re writing a post, filling out a spreadsheet, or washing your hands, keep your mind on the moment.
2. Take Meditation Breaks
Office workers often get small breaks throughout the day. For many, this is a smoke break, but for you it could be something far more beneficial. During these small breaks, take time to get up and move around.
Sitting still for your entire work day can lead to all kinds of health problems later in life. Take a stroll outside and practice a walking meditation. If you can get some time alone during these small breaks, striking a few yoga poses offers a great way to stretch and meditate at the same time.
Turning your attention towards your senses offers a perfect way to be in the moment. Meditating during your small breaks and your lunch breaks will help keep stress at bay.
3. Set Rigid Boundaries
For people like myself, this is the most difficult part. Many of us carry our work with us wherever we go. Even when we’re not working, we’re thinking about it, stressing about it, and letting it consume every waking moment.
You need to be fully committed to your work when it’s in front of you, and then fully committed to your life when the work day is done. Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. When your brain tries to wander to thoughts about work, pull it back to the moment.
4. Remind Yourself to Stay Mindful
Becoming mindful isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a habit that needs to be built over time, until it becomes second nature to you. We spend a lot of our time letting thoughts wander and it kills our productivity in the process.
Consider some of these ways you can remind yourself to be mindful:
● Set a silent vibration alarm on your phone at regular intervals to pull you into the moment.
● A sticky note or a photo on your desk that keeps you in the moment
● Practice mindfulness during specific activities or between work tasks.
Anytime something rings, vibrates, or otherwise pulls you into the moment, take advantage of that. Use it as an opportunity to focus all of your thoughts on the present moment before you react to it.
5. Alter Your Perception of Stress
Stress is always associated with negative things, and for good reason. What if we could change that? A study done by the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered that your perception of stress impacts your health more than the stress itself.
It’s all in your mind, in this case quite literally. Instead of letting stress break you down, turn it into a positive force. Let it give you energy, challenge you, and push your forward towards your goals.
Short bursts of stress put your body into action. Use it when it comes, and let it go with meditation when it’s no longer needed.
How do you practice mindfulness at work? Let us know in the comments!
About the author
Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method – a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga. He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy. You can find him online: http://www.vikasayoga.com