Mindfulness is simply becoming aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Today’s work environment can involve deadlines, pressure, long hours and information overload. Mindfulness is a powerful technique that can help employees deal with work-related stress and improve their effectiveness in the workplace.
Mindfulness is a simple concept that is incredibly profound. It involves learning how to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment without judgment. Instead of getting caught up in the stress of negative emotions, being overwhelmed, and not handling things well, mindfulness means becoming aware of how your body feels and what your thoughts are, and then noticing things like how you’re breathing or how tense your body feels.
Ideas for Mindfulness at Work
Mindfulness isn’t about controlling what is happening to you, it’s more about slowing down enough to become aware of it. So many times we let pressure and stress make us react in unhealthy ways, until we aren’t even aware of what we are feeling or in control of ourselves and our actions.
One way to practice mindfulness is to notice your breathing for a few minutes one or more times a day. It isn’t necessary to control your breathing, just to notice it and continue to do so for a few minutes.
Another good mindfulness practice is to check in with yourself regularly, paying attention to whether you’re tensing up or thinking negative thoughts. Some people set timers or bells for every hour to remind themselves to check in. Regular check-ins will help you realize when you are getting tense. Slowing down to notice what you are feeling physically and thinking mentally can be all it takes to reduce your stress sometimes.
Practicing mindfulness can help your work productivity and stress.
Focus and Awareness
Practicing mindfulness increases your ability to focus on the tasks in front of you. Awareness takes focus a step farther so that you can release or dismiss distractions that can prevent you from accomplishing important tasks that will move your work forward. Focus and awareness can prevent mistakes and even increase your creativity and ability to solve problems at work.
Mindfulness can help solve these common workplace problems:
- Paying too much attention to social media and email
- Unnecessarily long, unfocused meetings
- Making poor, hasty decisions
- Working on autopilot and not really thinking about what you are doing
Mindfulness also includes time for reflection so that you can decide whether you should keep doing something the same way or try a different technique or idea. As you practice mindfulness in or out of the office, you may find that many areas of your life improve and it’s easier to keep all kinds of distractions at bay, along with the stress those distractions can cause.
CCSU is offering a continuing education course on mindfulness for those who want to begin learning about this powerful practice and some ways to implement it in their own lives. Sign up for the course to begin the journey to greater productivity and satisfaction in your work and even your personal life. View all our open courses for more adult education programs to enrich your work and personal life.