mindful workdayYou may have heard about the hot topic of bringing mindfulness into the workplace and the benefits of:

  • Stress-reduction
  • Increased clarity of mind, balance, energy, zest for life
  • Improve complex problem-solving and decision-making
  • Enhanced leadership
  • More emotional intelligence, less reactive
  • Mood regulation and immune system enhancement

You might have even says it sounds like a good idea. Maybe you even practiced it a couple times. But the dependable habitual ways of thinking and acting take over and it goes by the wayside.

So let this post be an opportunity to commit or recommit to cultivating mindfulness at work.

Take a few deep breaths right now after reading these words. Then go down the list and honestly ask yourself, when was the last time I did this and where can I bring it into my day?

Here are 9 ways you can start today:

  • As the workday begins, slightly slow down as you walk to the car, check in with your body and notice any tension. Try and soften it.
  • Trying driving to work a little slower today and let red lights be reminders to just notice your breathing.
  • As you walk to the office, breathe in and out with every three steps. Notice the sensation of walking, it took you over a year to learn how to do this.
  • If you sit at a desk, take a few breaths before checking the computer for emails or updates
  • If possible, maybe once a week, eat by yourself in silence, eat slightly slower and really tune into the sense of taste while eating.
  • When talking to a colleague, notice if your mind is wandering onto something else and gently come back to mindful listening.
  • When walking back to the car from work, practice the same way you walked to your car.
  • No need to ‘rush’ home to ‘relax’, drive slightly slower and experiment with new radio stations, maybe reflect on what you actually did that day. What was positive, what was stuff you would like to do better?
  • When getting home, if you have a family, take a few minutes in the car and keep your breath company, notice if your body is tense, and if so, try to soften those muscles by breathing in and out of them, with awareness, and just letting them be.

As always, please share your stories, suggestions for bringing mindfulness to work, and questions. Your interaction below provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Photo by The Joneses, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

 


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    Last reviewed: 20 May 2011

APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2011). 9 Ways to a More Mindful Workday. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/05/9-ways-to-a-more-mindful-workday/

 

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Books and CDs by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:
Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind

The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change The Rest of Your Life
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