It’s that time of the year where work is busy, holidays are slowly approaching, and it feels like your mind is going in a million different directions. It’s crucial now more than ever for you to stop in your tracks and remember you’re in control of your mindfulness.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the word mindfulness, it means being fully aware of what’s happening around you and inside of you. It’s derived from Buddhist meditation and has become a popular way to improve mental and physical health. It can decrease anxiety, improve your sleep habits, and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. This article is dedicated to some mindfulness tips and tricks for the workplace. The smallest adjustments to your day-to-day routine can keep you sane and change your mindset with the thought of going to work.
Start Your Day by Setting the Tone
The first mindful tip for the workplace might not even happen at work. Your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day, so it’s important to use this time wisely. Take deep breaths and mentally prepare yourself for the day. Remind yourself to stay focused and level-headed at work. You can do this mindfulness exercise first thing in the morning when you wake up, having a cup of coffee or even when you arrive at your desk at work. According to mindful advocates, a couple of minutes of these thoughts can provide you with more focused and creative work.
Be Aware of Your Breathing
This mindfulness tip is great because it’ll help reduce your stress without taking time out of your busy work day. Did you know that you can stress your body out by not taking deep enough breaths? When you take shorter breaths, it activates the emotional part of the brain and blocks the prefrontal cortex used for judgment and reasoning. There’s a good chance you don’t breathe deeply enough when you’re busy at work. The solution is simply taking deeper breaths throughout the day. Taking deep breaths will help you think clearly and you’ll be able to tackle a heavy workload with ease.
Your Breaks are Your Friend
What better time to regroup and increase your mindfulness than on a quick break or lunchtime? Take advantage of this time by doing some mindfulness exercises. Get up on your break and take a short walk or do a little stretching to stay loose. Ditch the phone and really focus on how you’re feeling in the moment. Your lunch break should be a mindful experience and an opportunity to really connect with your meal and enjoy it. If you can’t afford to step away from your desk on your lunch break, then at least focus on your first few bites.
Don’t Be Too Critical of Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with a little self-evaluating when you’re in the workplace. However, we tend to be our own toughest critic and focus more on things we do wrong rather than things we do right. This is absolutely detrimental because it can create more stress and self-doubt. For this mindfulness tip, try to learn as much from your positive experiences as your negative ones and treat them as equals. You don’t have to stop self-evaluating, just have a more neutral approach so you’ll eventually have a more balanced perspective on your day.
Identify How Your Body Responds to Everyday Events
Sometimes at work, you’ll have experiences like a conflict with a coworker causing your face to get hot or your stomach turn. Other times you’ll nail a presentation and you’ll feel out of this world. This last mindfulness tip for the workplace is to identify these physical responses. Once you’re able to do this, you can find ways to decrease feeling the physical effects of negative scenarios. Over time your body won’t physically react to these negative scenarios and you’ll feel more in control of whatever comes your way.
Must-Have Apps to Improve Mindfulness
If you want to improve mindfulness at work, consider downloading an app to your phone. If you’re unsure which app to use, we found five of the most effective mindfulness apps so you can get the most out of your mindfulness experience.
Headspace is an app that provides 10-minute guided meditations. The free version offers 10 days of guided meditations and “mini” sessions like a minute-long breathing meditation which are helpful if you only have a minute to spare. If you like the results, you can purchase the app for €9.99 per month which then unlocks over 500 hours of meditation content.
Rated as “World’s Happiest App”, Calm is known for its quick meditation sessions and restful sound effects. They have a 7-day beginner’s program and offer meditation sessions that last between 5-25 minutes long. By paying the monthly fee (€9.99), you open access to the advanced programs which can help you deal with emotions such as anxiety, stress, and sleep resulting in an overall positive and more grounded outlook.
3) Stop, Breathe and Think
Stop, Breathe and Think prides itself on serving the “under-25” generation. When you first open the app, you record how you’re feeling mentally and physically. By doing this, the app will generate which mindfulness exercises you need for that session. The free version includes 30 mindfulness exercises and “body scans” which helps you find sensations in your body. The 9.99 per month fee unlocks over 70 exercises including yoga and a “Learn how to meditate” guide.
If you’re looking for an app that’ll fit your on-the-go lifestyle, then Aura might be what you’re looking for. In 15-minute sessions, the app personalizes the exercises based on what you’re feeling and you can choose what works for you and what doesn’t. The 7.99 per month subscription provides over 1,000 exercises. You can also record daily notes on how you’re feeling which appears on a graph so you can see your daily moods.
Buddhify, unlike the other apps, requires a 4.99 fee that you pay up-front and allows you to explore the entire app. They feature a “wheel” separated by colorful segments each representing a mindfulness exercise you can try and personalize. You can add and remove the exercises you like from your personal wheel so that it’s specific to your needs. Many exercises are meant for on the go purposes that you can use when you’re walking or even at work.
Don’t let work be a source of stress or hold you back. Try some of these mindfulness tips and tricks and watch your entire mindset evolve. You’ll be more productive, level-headed, and have the confidence to conquer work every day!
Our designers use neuroarchitecture to make OneCoWork as conducive to healthy working minds as possible. Read more about the science behind it here. Each floor has a designated break-out area to help you get away from the desk - and you can always head up to the terrace at OneCoWork Plaça Catalunya or out to the 360-degree balcony at OneCoWork Marina Port Vell for a break, some fresh air, and a space to focus on mindfulness!
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