5 Mindfulness Strategies for the Workplace
“Wherever your focus goes, the energy flows.” - Tony Robbins
The practice of mindfulness is not only reserved for practicing “on the mat,” in sacred and spiritual locations, or when we go to some form of yoga or meditation class. Rather, it is a skill in which we develop within those environments but inevitably we invite into our everyday lives.
In doing so we put the tools to work to help cultivate the benefits of mindfulness that have and continue to be scientifically proven, such as the stimulation of our parasympathetic nervous system which can be thought of as, “rest and digest” This healing response helps to lower blood pressure, activate feel good hormones, improve mood, boost cognitive function, and increase productivity and focus.
There are endless ways to develop and anchor a mindfulness practice in our lives, today we will be looking at a couple of techniques and suggestions that can bring this life changing shift of awareness into the workplace to help create a greater sense of self-health, vitality, energy, and to build a more harmonious environment and culture within the space of business.
Like all aspects of life, to create change in an environment, culture and community we begin with ourselves. Here is a list of five things we can do throughout our day to not only benefit our body, mind and heart, but in doing so create a shift in interaction, communication and feeling with those around us.
“What is my body doing?” Awareness of the body is such a powerful grounding tool. It not only helps to calm the mind but it also brings focus into how we are using and interacting with our body and our environment.
- Begin by feeling your feet on the floor.
- Notice your posture, are you slumping forward or are you sitting with a supported spine.
- Feel your fingers, arms, shoulder, neck, etc. as you do daily activities such as writing, typing, talking on the phone and any other action you do on a regular basis that may have become habitual.
- Walk around, stand up, raise your arms overhead with your breathe, don’t be afraid to just shake it off and get some energy flowing!
Breath! Breath is life. Take it away and we won’t last more than a couple of minutes. Enhance it, deepen it, and nourish your body with it.
- Any moment during the day ask and feel, “What is the quality of my breath right now?” Notice it’s depth, rhythm and where in the body it is moving.
- When you are feeling stressed, angry and worked up take some conscious breathing, exhaling slowly out of the mouth as if you were blowing through a straw. Repeat 5-10 times.
- If you are feeling depressed, tired or bored, take some deep inhalation through the mouth or nose, filling the entire body to its maximum and exhale. Repeat this 5-10 times.
- Get up and move your body with your breath. Deepen the breath by lifting your arms over your head on the inhale and returning them back down during the exhale.
- When in doubt, breath!
Positive thoughts lead to positive creations: Positive thoughts lead to changes within the body and mind. One thought at a time we can consciously begin to change how our mind is wired and the patterns of thoughts that we have.
- Find a word, phrase of affirmation that resonates with you. When you notice your mind being overly critical, judgmental or telling itself stores, stop. Begin to repeat the affirmation you have chosen. Breath with it and notice when the mind moves away from it. Return to affirmation and repeat for two minutes.
- Know that thinking is normal, healthy and to be expected, but also remember that if we slow down and breathe we can begin to connect to something beyond thought - we remember that there is a deeper essence to us that is listening to the thought itself!
- Compliment yourself on a regular basis even for the most simple tasks and accomplishments. Create a sense of productivity and accomplishment between you and your own mind and then spread that outward to others.
Gratitude is greatness: The most simple action with one of the most profound and life changing benefits. Deepening our positive thinking with the feeling and connecting to the sensations of gratitude that we can cultivate effects our nervous system, our hormones, and actually alters our heart rate and brain waves.
- “Thank you.” Say these words often and say them with meaning. Don’t speak them from the brain in a habitual way that we were raised, but rather communicate them and connect them with your heart, your love, and your appreciation.
- Notice the little things in life and find the joy, gratitude, and beauty within them. This will begin to shift our body and mind in a way that does not call for huge grandstanding moment.
- Stop and smell the roses. Take a moment to slow down and enjoy the processes of life, the interactions with your body, the interactions with your environment and coworkers. Appreciate each other, our own uniqueness. Smile.
Care about the physical space around you: By tending our own environment and space in which we are responsible for, we create a shift with our own mindset and how we see our workspace. This also influences how we choose to interact with it and it sets the tone for the community, and culture that we share as a whole.
- Make your space unique to you. Bring in things that make you feel happy, that encourage you and that bring in those good vibrations that will make you more positive, grateful and happy.
- Nature is nurturing. Bring in some plants tend to them. Care for it, and this action will create an intention of caring in the space around you.
- Art speaks to the soul. Whether this is more sunlight, plant life, or a man made creation, investing in something that allows you to slow down and take a calm harmonious breathe. The essence and inspiration that allows you to stop and smell the roses of life.
Creating a shift within your body reverberates out into the world around you. Each breathe, each spoken word and each interaction is an opportunity to cultivate and manifest a beautiful space for both ourselves and each other.
Thank you for reading my article. I hope you found it helpful or at least thought-provoking. If this post did help you, consider sharing it with someone you think it would help too.