The term mindfulness has been thrown about in the media a lot lately – but what does it mean and how can it help you? Originally a form of Buddhist meditation, mindfulness has been defined by the Mayo Clinic as “the act of being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment – without interpretation or judgement.”
Being mindful has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety by bringing you into the present moment and instilling a quiet mind. Mindfulness can be introduced in all areas of your life and can be especially useful at work.
The following tasks should help you become more mindful at the office:
Use your non-dominant hand
Whether you’re writing some notes down or answering the phone, try using your non-dominant hand. Doing this will force you to think about what you’re doing and will encourage you to slow down and pay attention.
Listen in a new way
Most of the time when we’re listening in a conversation at work we are looking at a computer screen or simply waiting for our turn to talk. Next time you talk to someone, try to listen as if you were a sponge. Turn away from your computer and focus completely on what the other person is saying. This will allow you to take in 100% of what the other person is doing and you will simultaneously quiet your mind.
Take a timeout to listen
When you’re feeling stressed at work, take five or ten minutes away from the office and just listen to the sounds drifting around you. You may hear snippets of other people’s conversations or even birdsong depending on where you are. Whatever you hear, don’t try to interpret it, just let the noise wash over you. This will help you feel rejuvenated and to think more clearly.
Before you go to answer the phone, take three deep breaths. This will settle your mind and will help you go into the conversation focused and 100% present. This simple exercise also helps you to let go of any residual stress so you can speak to the caller with kindness and openness.
If you are struggling with work stress, you may need to address your work-life balance. Find out if a life coach could help you on our work-life balance page.
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