Will you try something new at a workplace if it can potentially have a positive effect on stress levels and develop a better corporate culture? (Yes, please!)
Mindfulness has been shown to contribute to these benefits, and that is why companies are starting to notice! Nike and Google offer relaxation rooms for meditation while Aetna opened a Mindfulness Center!
So, what exactly is Mindfulness, and how does it matter to you on the job?
Mindfulness merely is being focused on the present moment. That means you are not worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow or dwell on what happened during the meeting yesterday. This shift empowers you to take a step back and make better decisions. It also enhances creativity, focus, and productivity.
You don’t need to find a corner or sit silently in a meditation room to become mindful! You can get started at the office right now with these five simple activities.
Focus on Breathing
Breathwork is not just for yogis and gurus. Studies show that slowing down your breathing puts you in a calm emotional state. You need not set aside a specific time or place for it as it is something that can be done virtually anywhere. By focusing on each time you inhale and exhale, you will start to notice that it has the power to relax you. Try this easy exercise – Breath in (inhale) through your nose to the count of three. Now hold for three, and release through your mouth. Repeat. Closing your eyes while you do this can make you feel better instantly!
People with high-stress levels have troubled breathing, literally cutting themselves off from life.
Pick a Mantra
Don’t wait until you open an app or log onto your computer to get into the right state of mind. Begin your morning by choosing an empowering quote, or a mantra. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day – mull over it. “Peace begins with me” is an awesome example of a reminder that we are responsible for how we feel and how we react. “I am capable, strong, and enough” can keep you calm and focused. Practice it and see the difference before a big presentation or meeting.
Right use of Fillers
We all are aware of filler words. We’ve been conditioned to use these ‘umm’ and ‘aah’ to fill the silence. If we learn to use them sparingly, they can be a great way to relate with your audience and also to catch your breath and emphasize on the key points. On the contrary, if used out of nervousness, can hurt your credibility. The practice is to find your sweet spot while speaking so we don’t rush through. Instead, use the silence to gather and streamline your thoughts.
Take a Relaxation Break
More often than not our work requires us to power-run through the day without getting up from our desk to take a break just to relax or stretch. It’s actually more beneficial to step away from your usual premises to rest for a bit. Step outside for a walk, or just to buy a smoothie for yourself! For some, finding a quiet place to sit with your thoughts (without judgment) for five minutes helps instead. Taking a deliberate break and detach from work! It’s a mindful way to improve your concentration, lower stress levels, and anxiety, as well as facilitate high awareness.
Write with Gratitude
Before you wrap up your day, put pen to paper and scribble down at least one positive event that happened during your day. Think about why it made you happy and what was the source. Sometimes things as simple as “I got one step closer to a magic trick” will train your brain to focus on the positives. Studies show that gratitude increases mental strength, reduces aggression and enhances empathy. This way you’ll be ready to handle tomorrow with remarkable resilience.
It may be challenging to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine, but once it becomes a habit, it is empowering. The next time you have trouble focusing, try one of these exercises to bring your mind back to the present.
Remember, practice makes perfect, and it also builds a habit!