“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.”
-Maya Angelou, Poet & Activist
Wherever you’re working at the moment, our jobs can be a source of both meaning and a significant amount of stress. From long days to physical labor to tough conversations to tight deadlines, work can induce anxiety in many of us.
That’s why building tiny moments of reprieve into your routines can be so meaningful. Every day, there are simple ways to introduce mindfulness and reduce the impact of work stress on you. Dan Harris, author of 10 Percent Happier, claims that “mindfulness is the ability not to be yanked around by your own emotions.” So, what are a few ways you can create mindfulness moments in your workplace?
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
- Take a 10-Minute Mindful Walk. This daily practice builds your awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Quieting your mind and shutting down your autopilot where your thoughts wander to anxiety-prone places, will allow you to bring this focused awareness into the rest of your day.
- Purposefully Pause During Meals. If you’ve returned to the office (and your office eating habits) and find yourself working while rapidly eating your lunch, take a moment. Sit with no distractions, use all of your senses, and let yourself actually taste, savor, and enjoy your meal or snack.
- Do the Mindfulness Exercise called S.T.O.P. (which you might remember we’ve adopted to help resolve challenging relationships)
o Stop: Take a momentary pause
o Take a breath: Feel the sensation of your breathing and come back to the present moment
o Observe: Acknowledge what is happening — good or bad — and just note it
o Proceed: Continue with your task/day
DID YOU KNOW?…
More than 10,000 employees at Aetna, a large health-insurance company, have participated in a company-offered mindfulness or yoga class with calming results. In a study conducted with Duke University, Aetna found that among those who took part, there was a 28 percent reduction in their self-reported stress levels, a 20 percent improvement in their sleep quality, and a 19 percent reduction in pain.They also became more effective, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of added productivity!