14 Nov 5 Top Mindfulness Tips to Reduce Stress at Work
Using mindfulness during the working day has been proven to have significant benefits particularly reducing stress, irritability, and anxiety, improving memory, reaction times, building resilience and emotional intelligence, and communication in the workplace and with personal relationships.
Regular mindfulness practice also has the positive physiological benefit of strengthening your positive dendrites and repairing them.
Stress in the workplace is an everyday challenge. It can vary from effects of the recession to company restructures, managing our different working relationships, organising the success of complex projects, and meeting important deadlines.
Our stress is a normal physical reaction as it enables us to deal with difficulties and even danger in our fight or flight response through the release of cortisol and adrenaline.
When we lose control of our stress, it can significantly affect our mental health as well as cause physical health problems from headaches and stomach pains to insomnia, and even exacerbate life threatening illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and Alzheimers Disease.
So we need to take control of the controllables of stress – how we react to situations and how we maintain a calm attitude on a daily basis. Mindfulness has been proven to significantly alleviate stress and its effects in the research led by Professor Mark Williams.
Here are five top tips to include Mindfulness techniques in your daily routine to reduce your stress levels at the workplace, and in maintaining the work-home life balance:-
Choose to start your day positively – select a soothing but positive alarm to wake you up, keep motivational mantras as your positive triggers in places you will look during your morning routine. Keep a daily morning journal where you can record your aims for the day to stay positive and alleviate stress. Write down your aims as affirmations as you have learned on your Advance training programmes – use the present tense, clear images including different sense, and your emotions. Write down your affirmations as SMART goals which you believe you CAN achieve that day, and prepare yourself for any controllable stresses so that YOU take charge of your day.
Be fully aware of yourself on your commute to work and appointments — if you drive, choose what you listen to on your commute to maintain calm and positivity. Switch off the radio on some days so you can focus completely on being aware of your surroundings as you drive. If you take public transport, you have the opportunity to listen to a meditation podcast, read a mindfulness book, or take time to do a ten minute meditation technique. When you arrive at your destination, allow yourself a few moments to sit in the car or have a walk outside and focus on your breath.
Apply The One Minute Meditation at times of stress during your working day. Find a quiet place and sit comfortably. If you are in private, you can close your eyes. If in public, focus on a space on the wall, a tree through the window or look at the floor. Focus your attention on your breath and breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Just focus fully on your breathing for a minute or two.
You could apply the One Minute Meditation technique before a meeting or presentation, while waiting for your laptop updates to configure, by taking a daily walk, while eating lunch or having a coffee break. Be aware of the present, of your senses, your breathing, and fully centre yourself.
The One Minute Meditation can be applied anywhere to enable you to focus your mind, calm your emotions, strengthen your positive thoughts, and relax your body ready to face any challenge.
Visualise yourself successfully dealing with your stress triggers before an important meeting, a presentation, or networking event. As you would focus for the One Minute Meditation Technique, add visualisation. Focus on yourself calmly dealing with a conflict with a colleague, successfully negotiating a deal, or completing a presentation with confidence.
Maintain a Successes and Gratitude Journal which you fill in at the end of each day – note down tasks you have fully accomplished, meetings or negotiations when you feel you handled your relationships well, and three things you are grateful for – every day. Keeping a Gratitude Journal has been proven to enable improved sleep and alleviate overall stress as the participant develops a more positive attitude and general life satisfaction,
Mindfulness technique programmes are becoming increasingly popular amongst successful companies such as Google, Target, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, and Intel with proven results in decreased stress, fewer sick days, and increased productivity.
By building the routine of Mindfulness Practice in your working day you empower yourself to focus on the present, release yourself from critical thoughts and the frantic world around you, and alleviate the stresses in your life.
Check our previous articles on the benefits of mindfulness for more information on the research on the benefits of mindfulness for our health and success at work: