6 Tips To Being Mindful In An Office
No matter how much mindfulness we’re able to muster on our own, the challenge of maintaining mindfulness in a work environment is another thing altogether. It’s possible, but it takes a special set of tools and focus to navigate your path in the office. To help you stay your best self under the daily grind of work, here are six tips to being mindful in an office environment.
One of the most difficult aspects of work is sitting at a desk, in a cubicle or at a workstation for many hours at a time. Oftentimes this means staring at a computer screen, talking on the phone, or sitting in meetings for long periods. This can wreck even the most practiced yogini’s posture. Combat fatigue and stress by remembering to take deep, full breaths. When you breathe deeply, your posture instantly improves as your core is engaged. Of course, be aware of your breathing so that your coworkers don’t mistake a beautiful, deep breath for an exasperated sigh. Which brings us to our next tip…
At work, you’re often thrown into the mix with individuals who you probably wouldn’t interact with otherwise. When coworkers are rude, thoughtless, or distracted, it’s easy to take it personally. Remember, each of the people you work with is an individual with a life extending far beyond the office walls. You never know what private battle someone is fighting, so be kind and try to meet people where they are. Kindness costs you nothing and is contagious.
Be a Duck
Have you ever heard the expression “like water off a duck’s back?” When you’re at work, let office politics, tight deadlines, and unpleasant meetings be that water, and you just practice being a duck. Never take anything at work personally, unless it’s a direct criticism of your work– in which case you can use it as an opportunity for growth.
Take it Outside
When the weather is agreeable, don’t make the mistake of eating lunch at your desk! Take a walk outside, find a tree to sit under, or just soak up some fresh air and sunshine. Connecting to nature, and just being outdoors, is beneficial in many ways, and you and your work will profit from a little time outside.
Taking a few minutes out of your work day to recenter and focus can revolutionize your productivity and reset your attitude. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make it a scheduled habit. Set a daily alarm to remind yourself to carve out a little space to quiet your mind. Aside from giving you momentary peace and calm, meditation actually changes your brain. It has a positive impact on your ability to regulate your emotions.
Honor Your Body
The workplace is often where bad habits are encouraged: drinking excessive amounts of coffee, eating unhealthy takeout, dipping into a donut tray, and of course, sitting still for far too long. Done occasionally, none of these things will kill you, but done habitually they will take a toll. Keep your workplace stocked with herbal tea and healthy snacks. Pack a lunch as often as possible and remember to take breaks to stretch, breathe, and unwind your stiff muscles.
Remember that mindfulness is a habit that you carry with you everywhere you go. If you can practice mindfulness in the office, you will certainly improve your work environment. And if you happen to positively influence even one coworker, you’ll have made an impact in the world around you. And that’s the most any of us can hope for.
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