The workplaces can be extremely competitive and stress-provoking environments. Long working hours, strict deadlines, difficult conversations with bosses and managers can be hard sometimes. Also, the amount of information you are bombarded with can increase your anxiety levels and can make you feel overwhelmed and disconnected from the present time. The tricky part of this bad habit is that it can easily turn into a vicious cycle. The moment you start feeling anxious, you disconnect from the present time and start focusing on future tasks or past mistakes at the workplace. In the end, it causes more anxiety, provokes stress and might cause burnout. In the long run, it can affect both your mental and physiological health. So, it is important to deal with your stress level adaptively and decrease anxiety. What can you do about this?
This is where mindfulness comes in.
Benefits of Mindfulness at work
Mindfulness is being in the present at the current moment, paying attention to what is happening now and accepting it without any judgement.
You can practice mindfulness anytime and anywhere, such as your workplace. Even though you don’t feel like meditating, there are numerous ways of practising mindfulness during your workday.
Ways to Be Mindful at Work:
1. Set an intention
At the beginning of every day, you should have an intention. Having an intention can be different from having a schedule or a plan. This intention can be related to a specific task in work or something from your personal life such as “I will try to see the hidden positive message of every conflict that I might face today.”. This mindfulness technique gives you a chance to check with yourself during the day and be present at the moment. You can check your thoughts and the ways you interpret the events.
2. One Task at a Time
Research actually shows that no one is a multitasker. In reality, when you try to do three tasks at a time, your brain switches back and forth between tasks and you can easily feel overwhelmed. Because of this, doing one thing at a time is more effective. As part of your mindfulness practice, start your workday with making lists, and do them step by step. Take breaks between them: rest can increase efficiency. After the workday, check your list and you will be able to feel more productive.
3. Try to stop and be mindful
Exercising mindfulness doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. You can switch off your phone, close your email tab and just sit in your chair for 10 minutes without doing anything. Just be present and observe. You might feel some tension in your body. Just be aware of it and maybe do a little stretching break. After these little breaks, you can see how your effectiveness at work changes.
4. Be With Your Feelings
People can sometimes mistake mindfulness with toxic positivity. You might think that being mindful is being in peace with everything or being always happy. However, mindfulness symbolises the opposite side of this perspective. Being mindful is observing and accepting every emotion. For example, you should accept that “I am angry with my colleague right now because of the way he acts.” It’s only after we embrace and accept our feelings, that we can more easily let go of them.
5. Have a growth mindset
It’s common among high-achieving, ambitious, successful people and it’s what mindfulness teaches us daily: the growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means you believe that you can change and improve your talents and intelligence by working on them. In other words, if you give the needed effort, you can get better. Most of the time, success at work is related to having a growth mindset. It is also one of the most important aspects of being mindful. Because accepting your current talent and intelligence level without judgement and working on them for improvement is a significant part of being mindful at work. For practising a growth mindset, start with small responsibilities. You can face your weaknesses, work on new tasks and build different goals every day.
For having a productive “stress-free” workday, you can start practising these little tricks and grow your potential while being mindful at work!
Written by Zeliha Stefanie Roesler, Intern Psychologist at AntiLoneliness
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