Mindfulness – the act of being more focused and aware, and a term that you’ve probably heard 1,000 times over the past year, as more and more people are adopting new strategies to control their thoughts and emotions.
If you need to take a timeout at work to refocus and take yourself to that calm and tranquil place of yours, learning how to practise mindfulness can have life-changing effects and make you more productive in the long run.
If you’re sold on the idea, here are 10 mindfulness techniques to follow on a daily basis.
1. Be Mentally Present
The key to mindfulness is being alert and aware in the present moment, instead of drifting off into autopilot mode. If you’ve gone home at the end of the day and can’t actually pinpoint what you worked on, you definitely drifted off into an unconscious state of mind.
If you notice that your mind wanders to your pile of ironing at home or what you should buy for dinner, you are not practising mindfulness at work at all.
Instead, focus on the tasks in hand, whether it’s writing a report or filing.
2. Add Mindful Exercises into Your Routine
Adding five minutes of mindfulness into your routine at work doesn’t need to be stressful. For example, you can practise breathing techniques while you’re taking a toilet break or making a cup of tea.
All you need to do is take a deep breath through your nose for six seconds and then breathe out from your mouth for another six seconds, ensuring that you’re not thinking about anything other than your breathing.
3. Take One Task at a Time
Multitasking used to be a skill that was adored by hiring managers, but in recent years, it just doesn’t seem to be that important. You’re probably wondering why: isn’t completing two tasks at the same time more efficient than handling them one by one?
Well, the answer is ‘no’. When you’re jumping from one job to another, some information will get lost or forgotten in the process, meaning that you’ll spend the same amount of time identifying and correcting the problem that arose from your multitasking!
Although you may feel productive at the time, it’s much better for your health if you take one task at a time.
4. Drink Lots of Water
You’re probably wondering what water has to do with mindfulness. Well, it has everything to do with it, especially when our bodies are made up of 60% water.
When your body is dehydrated, your judgement is altered, your thoughts become cloudy, and your mind will be longing for some nourishment.
To make sure you’re at the top of your game, be sure to drink enough water throughout the day. The suggested daily amount is two litres a day.
So, get a good water bottle and make sure it’s in arm’s length throughout the day!
5. Be Grateful
When you think of your workday, do you tend to dwell on the negative or the positive that happened? Your answer will most likely be the latter!
You were most likely annoyed at the printer that got jammed and made you late for your meeting, which then resulted in an earful from the boss.
Instead, you should start thinking of the good aspects of your day. Be grateful for the work that you’re doing (and enjoy) and be thankful for having awesome colleagues, an understanding boss and working in a company with a great culture.
Additionally, start making a list of everything that you’re grateful for within the workplace to increase your wellness and make your overall thought process a more positive one.
Many forms of meditation fall under the bracket of mindfulness, including breathing, observation, awareness, listening, emersion and appreciation, and there are tonnes of exercises that you can do to meditate.
What’s important is finding the right one that you can feel comfortable with doing at work.
You could choose to meditate on your lunch break when you have no distractions, once you sit at your desk in the morning or during your commute home. What’s important is that you develop a wellness routine that works for you.
7. Create a Comfortable Environment for Yourself
When you’re comfortable in your surroundings, you’re going to naturally feel more relaxed and at ease, which in turn will make you more mindful. And if you’re wondering how to make a comfortable environment, a simple tip is to personalise your workspace.
For example, buy some of your favourite plants, inject colours that you love, pin up pictures of your loved ones or make a shrine of your furry friends.
By creating a natural environment, you’ll instantly feel calmer and a lot more grateful.
8. Take Breaks
Powering through your day without getting away from your desk isn’t beneficial for anyone, especially you and your mental state! You’ll simply end up feeling exhausted and drained, which won’t be great for your work or your company.
Instead, you should take at least 15 minutes to find a quiet corner and recharge your batteries. During this time, it’s important to clear your thoughts, improve your concentration and rid any judgement, helping you overcome the afternoon slump.
9. Write Down Your Thoughts
Writing down your thoughts is a great exercise to practise mindfulness. It helps to get rid of any distractions, and it also aids in identifying thought processes and patterns.
If you’re obsessing over picking up your dry cleaning or getting to the supermarket before it closes, create a to-do list and move on to the task at hand. By repeating this process, you’ll train your brain to focus on the task that you’re supposed to be working on, without letting any other thoughts deter you.
10. Listen Actively
Mindfulness is not just about breathing and thinking; it’s also about listening and observing, too. Have you ever noticed yourself drift off when someone is talking to you, only realising when they’ve finished, and you don’t have the tiniest clue of what they said?
If so, it’s time to actively listen to what people are saying.
Stop yourself from drifting off and listen clearly! This will make all sides of the conversation better, and it will form a stronger bond between you both.
It might sound difficult at first but incorporating mindfulness into your routine can be a game changer! Once you’ve nailed it, you’ll instantly feel more alert and productive, and you’ll be more in touch with the present moment.
Do you practice wellness in the workplace? Let us know what your daily routine is in the comments section below.