WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAY. 03, 2014
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Practicing Mindfulness at Work

Stress in the workplace has engulfed the entire planet like never seen before, or so it seems. 8 in 10 Americans get stressed out at their jobs and the stats for the other countries are not exactly encouraging either. Workplace stress is a serious issue.

For most employees, working when stressed is a futile exercise – the minds and the bodies simply don’t work in harmony. Additionally, one gets more frustrated because their efforts take them nowhere. But there are employees who are able to employ mindfulness at work. What do they do differently? You shouldn’t be surprised when you find them practicing some tried and tested methods to reduce workplace stress.

What is Mindfulness?

To define it in simple terms, mindfulness is being aware of what is happening around you. If you take out a couple of minutes and sit back to think, it will be pretty apparent that you are mostly too busy with self thoughts and this doesn’t allow you to think of what is happening around you. There are many companies like Google that conduct programs on mindfulness. But ultimately, the onus lies on you.

Getting rid of Worry

Dale Carnegie had famously said that all our life we tend to worry about something or the other and 90% of those worries never come true. Stress at the workplace results a lot from our worries – we worry about deadlines, we worry about the quality of our work and we sometimes even worry about losing our jobs. The best option is to stay in the present so that worries don’t bother us.

Managing Stress

Continuing from the point made above, it is best to conquer stress to make it more manageable. To get started, you need to think about something that is stressing you the most. Once you identify the point of stress, think of the worst outcome of that stressful situation.

But don’t stop here as most people tend to do and get depressed. Think of how you can manage that possible worst situation. Work toward this solution and you will find that the stress is slowly dissipating.

Dispersing Stress

When you are stressed, you not only feel it in your mind, but in your body too. So, you will find that your neck muscles have tensed and your stomach muscles have started contracting.

At this point, focus on the distractions around you. For example, if a couple of your colleagues are having a good laugh, saunter up to them and join the conversation. Practicing this tactic will help you with better mindfulness at work.

Take Breaks

Breaks are important and you should utilise them. Have a small walk after your lunch or just leave your workstation and walk around for a bit. This is definitely going to help you freshen up your mind and think of new ideas. And the moment this happens, you will find your stress levels coming down.

These are simple techniques of practicing mindfulness at work. What is important is that you force your mind to practice these techniques. Try out continuously for a couple of weeks and these practices will become your habit, leading to a better work-life for your own good.

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