Advocates will tell you there’s nothing mindfulness can’t make better. At its most basic, it’s about being present, living in the moment and taking time to think, feel and process the things we do on autopilot every day - helping converts judge less and enjoy more.
It’s a wonderfully simple idea and one that millions of people across the globe are finding benefit in, particularly at work where stress levels can run high, the pressure to perform can erode confidence and the opportunity to judge and be judged is ever present.
The beauty of mindfulness is that it costs nothing, other than time, to master. There’s no elite membership, expensive club or mandatory figure hugging outfit and you can apply it to any situation to help you get more from it.
It’s an approach that takes a little getting used to, but like anything worth doing…practice makes perfect, so here are some easy tips to get you started and help you put a more mindful spin on your working day.
- Set your alarm a few minutes early, so you’ve time to wake up and avoid rushing around.
- Enjoy your shower. Take pleasure in the warm water, the smell of your shower gel, the feeling of the soft towel on your skin and the sense that you’re becoming more refreshed and awake.
- Dress comfortably. That doesn’t mean you have to be in sweat pants, but you could be in the same clothes for the next 10 hours, so choose something that will allow you to travel and work in comfort.
- Take in your surroundings as you travel to work and pay more attention to the speed walkers and dog walkers, the sun, the rain, the landmarks you pass, familiar faces and THE conversations you have.
- Pause for a few minutes every now and then throughout the day. Acknowledge how you’re feeling, concentrate on your breathing and take three mindful breaths to centre your mind.
- Move mindfully. Think about your posture and position your body so you feel nicely grounded when you’re sitting or standing still.
- Take time to eat lunch and enjoy it. Savour the taste and acknowledge the boost of energy it provides.
- Be aware of making judgements, manage your reactions and be open to alternative ways of working and new ideas.
- Listen, try not to interrupt and take time to respond mindfully.
- Focus on the task at hand. Multitasking has its place, but know when to give yourself the time and head space to fully engage in a task when you need to.
- Listen to your body, staying aware of your posture, breathing and any tension or tightness you might feel in your muscles. Take time to go for short walks or stretch throughout the day.
Mindfulness is something we all have the ability to tap into and these simple steps can be used whether you’re on the go or deep in a pile of paperwork. It’s absolutely free too so all the more reason to give it a go. It might just become your secret weapon at work.