Mindfulness in the Workplace

Take a moment to check-in and see how you are feeling after this past work week. Do you feel you have achieved what you intended as you look at the check marks on your to-do list? Did you feel anxious, exhausted, or stressed-out in the process, skipping lunch breaks or staying late?

Work environments are not always easy places to remember and engage in our mindful practice. Whether we are meeting set deadlines or carried away when fully immersed in the work we love, sometimes we inadvertently sacrifice important breaks to refresh, refuel, and nurture ourselves. It is important to act mindfully in this space though, as doing so will bring more ease, peace, happiness, AND productivity. With mindfulness in the workplace, we form better relationships with our co-workers, respect our body’s need for movement, listen to signs of hunger and fatigue and ultimately, we perform better at our jobs.

Here are some tools that can help you instill mindfulness in the workplace:

  • Try some simple stretches between meetings or extended periods of sitting in front of your computer and presentations. Arm swings are a quick and easy way to reduce any tensions in your head, shoulders, and back.
  • Let the telephone ring three times before answering it.  Breathe in and out during the rings to feel refreshed and collected for your conversation.
  • Take brief walks when possible. Instead of sending an email to your co-worker down the hall, a quick walk to their office will get your blood circulating and give your brain a rest.
  • Transform your desk into a mindful space by featuring reminders to stop, breathe and listen to your body. This could be as simple as a sticky note, a stress ball, or a relaxing photo.
  • Replace unhealthy desk drawer foods with fulfilling, healthy snacks like nuts, fruit or granola.
  • Keep a water bottle at your work station, or take periodic breaks to fill up your morning coffee mug at the water fountain.
  • Instead of having lunch delivered right to your desk, take a few minutes to walk to a near-by restaurant or to the cafeteria. Even if you dont have to time to enjoy your meal there, you get a walk and maybe even enjoy a few mindful bites in the park or on a bench, before taking the rest back to your office.
  • Take 5 and breathe together with a co-worker after lunch as your breathing siesta to help regain your mental acuity.
  • Recognize your anxiety and tensions whenever they arise.  Take a few breaths to transform them.
            Breathing in, I am aware of my anxiety
           ​Breathing out, I take care of my anxiety
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk mindfully
  • Cut down on multi-tasking. Its not as efficient as you think!

What mindful working tools do you find effective?