Mindfulness At Work
Do you find that your head is often full of random thoughts and worries that buzz around not allowing you to keep focused and make decisions?
Perhaps you would like to keep your attention on the current moment rather than worrying about past issues or whether your work will be good enough when it’s complete? In the pressurised world of work wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a short break to recharge and clear your mind.
This kind of thinking is described as worry; which is when we are overly focused on a particular issue or problem, it also can be anxiety; which is that feeling of panic or dread that something is going to go wrong. Both of these thinking styles can lead to stress; the bodies physical reaction to a perceived threat, a hangover from our primitive response to danger of ‘fight or flight’.
There are many self-help books and articles that have suggestions on how to manage any of these thoughts and behaviours. However if you’re looking for a quick and simple change, that you can put into place effectively for just one minute a day without others at work even noticing, then try the Mindful exercise below.
Mindfulness has it’s background in Buddhism but is a rapidly growing practice found to be therapeutic in many areas of life and particularly with stress and worry. It was defined by Kabat-Zinn in 1994 as:
“Paying attention in a particular way on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgementally.”
Which means it enables you to learn to bring your thinking back to the present moment, even when other distracting thoughts appear, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. This exercise is Mindful Breathing Awareness, you will probably find it easy to do and it can be done anywhere as it takes only 1 minute.
- Sit with your back straight and neck and shoulders relaxed
- Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing, just noticing it rather than trying to change it. You may find ti helpful to say ‘breathe in’ and ‘breathe out’ in your head
- Notice any sensations or feelings in your body
- Bring your mind back to your breathing whenever it drifts to other thoughts, which it will do a lot
- The purpose of the exercise is to be able to regularly pull your thoughts back to the present moment not to achieve an empty mind
If you practice this exercise for a least a minute a day you will find it makes a difference. It can also be useful if you are having trouble getting to sleep at night, to calm your mind and relax.
Mindfulness At Work