Practical Mindfulness Tips for the Workplace

It is an increasingly popular practice today to emphasize mindfulness not just in one's home life, but in the workplace as well. This essentially means the practice of remembering who and where you are in the present moment and giving your full attention to it. Let's explore a few practical techniques in this set of 5 tips to increase both your peace of mind and productivity.

1. Using short mindfulness exercises during the day can help put you in a more connected state. They can be as short as desired, and you don't have to close your eyes or even sit down. Putting all your attention on your breath for a minute, or just one of your senses, can make all the difference in a pressure situation. It helps to tone down the fight-or-flight response and you learn to reflect rather than react.

2. It has been documented that multi-tasking is inefficient. People have the idea that multi-tasking makes them more productive, even when the reverse is true. You can only put your attention on one thing at a time, otherwise your brain is jumping from one to the next and often losing information in the process. Focusing on a single task and doing your best to complete it ensures better overall quality.

3. Recent research suggests that a person's perception of stress can influence the effects stress will have on the person. People who believed that stress was bad for their health had the highest mortality rates compared to those who believed stress was an invigorating part of the good life. Chronic stress is no light matter, however, the next time you experience stress try to look at it a little creatively. Be mindful of how your heart rate is increasing and more oxygen is flowing to energize you, that your senses are sharpening and priming your system for action, be grateful for it.

4. Acceptance is at the heart of mindfulness, you accept the present moment just as it is. This also means you accept yourself, just as you are, and acknowledging the truth of how things are. If you go over budget, it happens. If you don't accept it you may deny it or avoid it, or get angry over it, but just accepting the situation for what it is and doing what needs to be done leads to a quicker resolution. Self-acceptance, where you embrace all facets of yourself, helps cut down on the drain from self-criticism and allows you a clarity of mind to focus where you do want to improve.

5. Try to adopt a growth mindset. The difference between this and the other presently accepted general mindset, the fixed mindset, is that rather than thinking of yourself with only a certain amount of intelligence or talents, you understand that you can improve these things with hard work and determination. Instead of being at the mercy of luck as to whether your fixed traits will lead to success, you can be open to the new possibilities of the present moment mindfully. You don't have as much fear of new responsibilities because you become more curious about how you'll handle them.

The essence of mindfulness at work is in believing you can grow and improve with experience, moving towards challenges, discovering new things internally and externally and living in the moment.