23 Sep Mindfulness Tips for the Workplace
In October 2015, Professor Mark Williams presented a brief to Parliament on how mindfulness could significantly improve the UK’s wellbeing and productivity. Mindfulness has been proven to enable people to be happier and more motivated as well as more resilient, trusting and responsive to change. When your team is happy, trusting in their colleagues, and adaptable this is reflected throughout the whole culture of the company.
The work of Mark Williams and his team at the Mindfulness Institute was explored in our e-shot How Mindfulness Can Help You to Fully Appreciate Today, and Heather and John gave an excellent short introduction to the subject in their podcast.
Heather defined mindfulness as: “the ability to focus on the present whilst keeping our effectiveness and clarity of where we’re moving forward.” She believes “one of the issues in business is that things are changing so quickly people aren’t enjoying what they are doing now.”
We explored the benefits of mindfulness practice in our previous eshot which include reducing stress and anxiety, improving physical health, 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.
Global stand out companies such as Nike, Procter & Gamble, McKinsey, Apple, Google and Yahoo have all adopted Mindfulness programmes for their workforce.
It may seem daunting to take on a whole programme applying mindfulness within your day – real life events mean it is not feasible to sit down and meditate for ten minutes and switch off from the outside world. However, theOne 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.
The One Minute Meditation: 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.
Here are some tips to include the One Minute Meditation and Mindfulness Practice in your working day:
When you wake up – keep a Gratitude Journal by your bed so that you can write down positive thoughts and anything you feel grateful to have in your life each morning and evening. This will put you in a positive calm frame of mind to start your day.
When you arrive at work or before a client visit, networking event or external presentation – take a minute to practise the One Minute Meditation by fully focusing your attention on your breath. This will give you time to calm yourself following your commute and fully switch on to the next task.
Practise your One Minute Meditation at your desk before you embark on a major piece of work. Switch off your mobile and the internet, and take that time to focus and prepare yourself, clearing your mind of any other distractions.
You can take use the One Minute Meditation to focus yourself before a meeting or an important phone call as well.
Take time to go for a daily walk outside during your day to give yourself space and distance from noise, stress and distractions. This also gives you a period away from work to build the habit of mindfulness practice during your working day.
At the end of your working day – note down any tasks you have fully accomplished and any meeting or event where you feel you succeeded so that you can go home with a feeling job satisfaction.
Before you go to bed – write down three positive things in your Gratitude Journal so that you can end the day with a positive mindset.
By building the routine of Mindfulness Practice in your working day you are empowering yourself to be more effective in your work, become calmer, and help to alleviate the stresses in your life.
If you would like to read further on Mindfulness we recommend Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams.