How To Be More Mindful At Work
How To Be More Mindful At Work
Mindfulness is one of these wonderful interventions that everyone can practice, and it’s not rocket science.
Bringing a little Mindfulness into day to day life can help us to:
- Feel more in control of our thoughts.
- Increase resilience when faced with those things we find difficult to deal with.
- Increase physical relaxation and reduce tension.
- Value ourselves more, through increased self-compassion and self-kindness.
- Improve our outlook on life, even during difficult times.
- Manage physical ailments with a greater ease and acceptance.
- Feel more hopeful and satisfied with life.
So what actually is Mindfulness and how do we practice it?
Being Mindful simply means paying attention to what is happening in the here and now and recognising whether we are experiencing our present state of being, or our thinking.
For example, you could be sitting on a bench in a pleasant sunny garden and in the reality of your experience, your present state of being is all ok.
But whilst sat there you are not enjoying the flowers and sunshine, instead you are thinking about something bad that has happened which is causing tension in your body and unpleasant emotions in your heart.
If we practised a little Mindfulness here we would notice that this particular thought is unhelpful and would then purposefully redirect our attention back into the present moment, where we could notice the feeling of our breath, the shade of the blue sky and the colours of the pansies at your feet. Adding in a little self kindness too is helpful.
In this moment you have simply moved your attention back towards what you are noticing and experiencing through your senses.
A Mindful moment!
This is really helpful if we have lots of worrying or unhelpful thoughts.
“But my mind is too busy, I just can’t stop thinking”
That’s Ok, learning how to be Mindful is a little like learning to play a musical instrument, we need to spend a bit of time each day practising so it feels easier.
We learn how to develop this by doing some Mindful exercises, just like going to the gym to train your body, but these exercises are for your mind.
By setting aside just 15 minutes a day to practice a Mindful exercise, you will notice, in a few short weeks, how much more centred and at ease you are able to feel. You will also notice how you are able to recognise more easily when your thinking is not being helpful.
“Why bother with this?”
Without always realising it we spend lots of time in our thinking mind, worrying about things that have happened in the past and fearing things that may happen in the future. This can often be the cause of depressive thinking patterns or feelings of anxiety and dread. Learning to ‘drop back in’ to the present can really help us to feel more in control of our thoughts.
“But I don’t have time, I just can’t fit this in too”
Lots of us feel that we simply don’t have any extra time to factor things in for ourselves, yet just 10-15 minutes a day can make so much difference to how we feel and how we react to life’s ups and downs. If we feel particularly busy and struggle to cope with the business of life, Mindfulness can actually help us to cope better with this. It’s a bit like plugging your mobile phone into the energy socket, when we take time to ‘recharge’ we function much more efficiently!
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