7 Steps to Mindfulness in the Workplace

Mindfulness in the workplace

Do you think of meditation when you hear the word mindfulness? There is a fine line that differentiates the two.

Keeping your mind still without letting it wander for a limited time is known as meditation. Whereas mindfulness simply means being in the present moment, being aware of your surroundings and attending to what’s happening immediately around you. 

With the ongoing chaos, it is becoming extremely difficult to focus on one particular thing – be it working from home, cooking, working out, your sleep schedule or your family.

News about the pandemic outbreak, unemployment, death rates and mental health issues is everywhere. The only thing we can do right now is accept the present and learn to take care of our mind and body.

How does mindfulness help improve one’s potential in the workplace?

The workplace can be a fast-paced, stressful environment. Our jobs pay the bills and occupy many of our waking hours. They are also a source of significant stress, tight deadlines, long days and difficult conversations. 

Mindfulness in the workplace means spending time consciously focusing on your work and work environment. Mindfulness includes the level of your involvement in your work and close paying of attention to details at any given point in time. Mindfulness helps increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes and even enhance creativity at work. 

Research says attending one mindfulness class a week can lead to a 28% reduction in your stress level and a 20% improvement in sleep quality while essentially gaining an average of 62 minutes per week due to increased productivity.

So how do we get started?

1. Take a break

When you have too many tasks to handle, give yourself a short 5-minute break. During this break, make sure you focus on your breathing. Find a comfortable place to sit silently or take a short 2-minute walk to help you stay mindful. Just a slow inhalation and exhalation can put a lot of your thoughts at ease and prepare you to handle your tasks mindfully. Breathing exercises can help you be productive and eventually can help you avoid mistakes and errors in your daily tasks.

2. Perceive the moment

At work your mind will run through hundreds of thoughts, wandering every second, your thoughts will try to overtake your tasks. Don’t try to push your thoughts away. Instead, notice your thoughts and mindfully choose to let go of that thought and stay present. If you are sipping a cup of coffee or tea, enjoy that sip and admire the taste of it rather than thinking of what to make for dinner. When you start practising this mindfulness even for a day, you will begin to notice a difference in your work.

3. One task at a time

Multitasking makes you less productive. Studies have found that multitasking reduces your productivity by 40%. It can even increase your stress level leading you to even more stressrelated problems.

4. Keep moving

After every task, it’s important to move away from your desk even for a minute or 2 to help you relax your muscles and refresh your thoughts. A simple walk around the office or stretch can improve flexibility and your overall body posture. All it takes is a few minutes of your day.

5. Eat mindfully

It’s easy to think about something that happened earlier or plan the rest of your day on your lunch break. You may listen to some music or watch a quick series while you eat. But to practice mindfulness, lunch should be eaten without any distractions. You should savor your lunch and enjoy every bite of your food. While you eat your food, observe the changes that happen to your mind and body. Mindful eating helps you choose healthier food which can help cut down unwanted calories.

6. Be kind to yourself

Do not be overly worried about your constant thoughts. Instead, just observe and practice bringing your mind back to what you are doing. Start recognizing your thoughts. If your thoughts are bothering you, take a deep breath and start over again. Don’t give up. Remember why you’re practicing mindfulness in the first place.

7. Commit to being mindful

Your commitment towards yourself is more important than anything else in your life. It’s okay if you don’t know where to start. Start with setting a simple reminder to check in with yourself. Send yourself a reminder to take a break or a walk or remind yourself to breathe mindfully for a minute or 2 every day.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.

― Henry Ford

Know that there is no way to quiet your mind!

Your mind will wander all the time. The goal here is not to quiet your mind, it is to make a conscious decision to pay attention to the present and to live in the moment. 

How mindful are you at your workplace? Share your thoughts below.

About the Author

Kiran Ramaiah is a certified Yoga and Meditation teacher and founder of AddFitt company. He has an experience of over 10 years in the health and wellness space. He is specialised in growing products in the healthcare and fitness industry.