We talk a lot about wellness at home and in the gym, but we don’t often focus on the office – where many of us spend a large chunk of our waking hours. If you could reduce stress, be more focused and more productive, work well with your colleagues, and feel more satisfied with and interested in what you do at work, would you want to? Us too. As with most things, we like to look at the small tasks we can do or actions we can take that will make a difference. Cue: mindfulness and brief meditation.
Mindfulness is just one small (but strangely big) thing: being present in the moment without judgment.
It sounds easy enough, but it can be challenging for a number of reasons. To begin with, we all have our own lives and our personal issues can creep up in our minds easily. Fleeting feelings can also color our perspective – preventing us from withholding judgment. And working with others is no small feat, we’re all different and sometimes we can really struggle to be on the same wavelength as our colleagues. We judge others, ourselves, and can easily get lost in a moment.
But mindfulness is a practice. When you find your focus straying, your judgments clouding your view, something distracting you from the moment: reset. That’s essentially what being mindful is – recognizing that you aren’t present and becoming present again. And again. And again. As often as you have to. Until you are better at it than you are now. But you will always be practicing it, and some days will inevitably be better than others.
Meditation can help. It can bring you back, help you reset, give you a renewed platform for focus and being present. And there are different ways to meditate and to approach meditation.
Breathe. Sit, close your eyes, count your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Focus on the expansion of your lungs and the movement of your diaphragm.
Get up and stretch your legs. Take a quick walk outside. Really concentrate on your body, how your feet hit the ground, stretch into your strides, focus on your breathing, and be aware of your body as it moves
Stretch the rest of you. Sometimes a quick dive into desk yoga can really change your perspective. You get your blood circulating and release tension that can be distracting.
Raise your awareness. Sitting, breathing, and visualizing your body and relaxing each part of it bit by bit is a liberating feeling. Start with your feet and move slowly up your body purposely relaxing your
“There’s an app for that.” Of course, in our day and age, there is indeed an app for it. Several, in fact, that can walk you through a guided meditation. Headspace and Calm to name a couple.
Give your work self a break. Give your work self a reset. Give your work self a chance to be in the moment. Be mindful.