For many people, the workplace is a stress-ridden environment of nonstop pressure. They spend their day unable to take a pause in the busyness. By bringing a Mindfulness practice into their lives, these workers are able to bring their best selves to their work life with a more present and balanced perspective.
Mindfulness teaches us how to be present in the moment with total awareness. When we make the effort to do that, we decrease stress, increase productivity and efficiency, and form a better connection with coworkers. Instead of just putting our heads down and charging through each day, Mindfulness raises our overall level of consciousness. We are able to show up in all the moments of our lives as present and as authentic as we can be.
Use Mindfulness to enhance your work life and your work relationships with these tips:
1. Start each work day by practicing Mindfulness. Begin with focused breathing, which will help with grounding and focus. Use this simple Mindfulness breathing exercise:
On the inhalation, (silently) count 1234-1.
On the exhalation, count 1234-2.
On the inhalation, count 1234-3.
On the exhalation, count 1234-4.
Repeat with the focused inhales and exhales until you feel a sense of calm. Do this any time during the day when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
2. Replace negative self-talk by connecting with your true self. Fear, insecurity and self-doubt can arise from the pressures to perform at work. These negative emotions can strip you of your true nature. If you find that your inner voice has become riddled with, “I’m not,” “I can’t” or “I’ll never,” start to catch yourself. Pause and connect with your authentic self. The authentic self knows exactly what its strengths and weaknesses are, but it doesn’t define itself as inadequate, or unqualified, or anything that boxes itself into limited beliefs.
3. Take a present moment break. Balance your day with present moment intervals to stop the demands of the workday and the monotony of busy-ness. When you step back, you realize that you’ve been on autopilot and may be missing so much of what’s happening around you. Become aware of the present moment, noticing how you feel and what you see, hear and smell. Take a few deep, conscious breaths and connect with your inner calm. You’ll immediately feel less stressed.
4. Work through challenging situations. In difficult, daunting or intimidating moments, it’s hard to feel anything but overwhelmed. The heavy burden of anger, frustration or insecurity weighs you down. But if you allow yourself to open to it with acceptance, your resistance begins to dissolve and you feel a lightness of being. You can now tell yourself, “I can handle this moment. There is nothing for me to fear.” You are now directing the moment — meaning you can navigate it with neutrality because you’re no longer constricting or reacting. Instead, you allow for it just “to be.”
5. Rely on Mindfulness as your “truth barometer.” When you make a regular practice of Mindfulness, you’re able to tap into your authentic self when your or others are being sincere. It’s like having an inner lie detector that goes off, making it almost impossible not to pay attention. Mindfulness keeps your mind open to discover and learn. You become more willing to consider someone else’s point of view. And, if anyone tries to persuade you to do something that doesn’t ring true, your authentic self gives you a signal that’s loud and clear. No one else can decide who you are or what’s best for you.
If you’re not checking in daily with how present, aware and awake you are, then it’s far too easy to succumb to the pressures of work life. You have the ability through Mindfulness to rise above the daily grind and become better connected with your authentic self, the coworkers around you and the work you do together.
Originally published here.