10 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness at Work
We all face some level of the daily stress and fatigue in our work life—that’s where the practice of being mindful and the power of your mind come in to help youstay positive, energized, and productive.
1. Adopt a Growth Mindset–People with a fixed mindset believe that their basic qualities, such as their intelligence and talents, are fixed traits. Instead of developing these qualities, they spend their time hoping their traits will lead to success.
Mindfulness is about adopting a growth mindset. That means giving attention to the present moment and not relying only on your innate talent or intelligence but being open to new possibilities. When you adopt a growth mindset at work, you don’t mind getting negative feedback, as you view it as a chance to discover something new (about you or others).
Consider challenges as “challenge-tunities,” seeing them as opportunities for inner growth. That’s the essence of mindfulness at work—believing that you can improve and grow with experience, learn and grow from challenges, live in the moment, and discover new things about yourself and others.
2. Celebrate the Small Wins – For every person you encounter in the day, find something (even if it’s small) to compliment about them and praise them. Start your meetings with a note of gratitude to everyone there, and really mean it. Others can tell when you are not genuine. Thank your colleagues or subordinates for the little things they do, instead of waiting for a big win. The more positivity you give out, the more you receive in return.
3. Be Humble – Humility is often confused with meekness or timidity but they’re not the same. Humility does not mean seeing yourself as inferior. Mindfulness practice helps you to be more connected with your senses—the present self. Widen your attention and you can see how much others contribute to your everyday successes. Thank them for it and feel genuine happiness for others.
4. Feel Gratitude – Start your day with positive affirmations about yourself and think of them as many times as you can through out the day (such as, I approve of myself, I am worthy, everything I touch is successful, I am healthy, etc.). Think of all the things, big or little, you are grateful for and go back to these thoughts as often as you can throughout the day.
5. Practice Empathy and Compassion – Start your conversations with colleagues with open-ended questions.Try to make your questions specific to the person, rather than the standard “How are you?” question, which invariably gets a standard “I’m fine. How are you?” response.
If you hear a contradicting opinion to yours, focus on empathizing with the other person and try to come from a place of compassion to understand their point of view (everyone has a reason for what they do/say even if it conflicts with yours).
6. Mindful Lunch Breaksor Mini Breaks– Actually take a lunch break away from your computer, even if you just sit at another part of your desk. Focus your thoughts on the food, how it tastes, the nutrients you are putting in your body, and how energized and fulfilled it makes you feel. If your mind wanders, gently guide it back to focusing on the lunch and use it as your quiet time (even if you only have a few minutes).
7. Be a Single Tasker– Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking may not be as effective as you might think. Focus doing one task and set aside specific time for it so you can do it effectively, efficiently and then remove it from your list.
8. Use Mindful Reminders– The reason you forget to be mindful is because your brain’s normal (default) mode is to be habitually lost in your own thoughts—running a sort of internal narrative. Set an alarm on your phone or in Outlook – every time the alarm goes off, you take a mindful breath, focusing on a positive thought. These are opportunities to come back into the present moment, to see yourself and your surroundings afresh. You take a small step back and reflect, rather than automatically react to what’s coming at you in the form of demands, tasks, and challenges.
9. Slow Down to Speed Up– Mindfulness at work does seem counter-intuitive. How can slowing down and taking breaks make you work faster? Consider that, by stopping or slowing down, you can become more efficient andproductive by beinghappy, resilient, and healthy at work. Imagine being asked to stop sleeping for a week. In theory it would give you more time to be productive, but eventually your efficiency would drop to almost zero because your brain would be exhausted.
However, if you manage to get enough sleep, then your productivityand quality of work improve. Now imagine what you could achieve if you also did a few mini-mindfulness exercises during the day? Your brain would become even more efficient, focused, effective at communicating with others, and better at learning new skills.
10. Take the Pause in The Moment– Being in a panicky rush leads to bad decisions and is a misuse of energy. Instead, pause in the moment and respond vs reacting immediately.Focus on listening, stroll rather than run, and generally take your time when at work. Effective leaders, workers, and entrepreneurs slow down and reflect to make the best decisions and actions—they slow down to speed up. That’s a mindful way of working.
This post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.