Mindfulness Exercises That Will Bring More Meaning to Your Work

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In the midst of a chaotic workday where there are deadlines, meetings that run late, annoyed customers, orders that need fulfilling…it’s easy to lose focus and motivation. The pandemic has made it more challenging with the rise of remote work and the stress that accompanies it. Many companies have started implementing mindfulness routines for their remote employees to ensure their emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. A recent study shows that 40% of adults are experiencing heightened levels of stress because of the pandemic. This isn’t good news. Stress is a nasty baddy in the body, causing all kinds of problems, like inflammation, as well as brain and heart problems. And don’t forget the ugly ways it can show up on your skin, in the form of adult acne or wrinkles. Mindfulness is the answer to reducing stress without even having to get up from your desk (though we do recommend moving around once in a while, too). Taking a break in the middle of a working day to be mindful is a great way to reconnect with yourself and improve your ability to concentrate.

Tips for anchoring yourself in the present moment

Practicing a set of exercises can help you be more mindful and shape your brain to focus on the present while controlling the external stimuli instead of reacting to them. Here are some mindfulness practices that can help boost your day and be more productive and positive:

Slow down

By taking time to slow down during your workday, you concentrate better on what you are doing now and sharpen your focus. Give yourself more time and space, and you’ll feel less stressed and more accomplished by the end of the day (a paradox, we know!).

Be present

Be more aware of each moment as you make your way through your day, and pay attention to the task at hand. You will be more agile, empowered, and satisfied with the results you produce when you anchor yourself in the present.

Learn a new behaviour in three minutes

This practice encourages you to focus on a new activity for three minutes a day. Writing with the non-dominant hand or learning to speak in public by standing and talking in front of a mirror are examples of ways you can learn a new behaviour. As you pay attention to what you want to learn, you become mindful of your ability to adapt and improve.

Savour a tangerine

Known as ‘the tangerine experience’, this practice trains your mind to focus on the details. You can pick any fruit—it needn’t be a tangerine—and distinguish every detail of it in your mind. This exercise increases your concentration levels, which will help you become more effective at problem-solving.

Be a single-tasker

Don’t call a client while you are writing a whitepaper and searching for a file on your computer. Scientific studies have shown that multitasking is actually counterproductive and can slow you down.  Instead, focusing on one task at a time ensures better results because you are giving the task at hand your complete presence and full attention.

Be compassionate

Empathy and kindness allow you to consciously place yourself in your co-workers’ shoes when they encounter an issue. As you get to know why your colleague is acting or feeling the way they are, you become more understanding, aware and open to win-win solutions.

Rub your hands

Sit back and rub your hands together purposely. You will bring your attention back to the now, which will enhance your focus on what you are doing and feel the warmth and vibrations the act creates. The sensation will anchor your wandering mind in the now and will allow you more control over your mind.

Actively listen, observe and taste

Activate all your senses to help bring you back into the moment. After all, you experience life through your senses, which help your brain to learn and adapt to new environments.

Observe the people around you, the details of the street, the sunset, the sky, the birds flying by. Taste your lunch with intention and distinguish every flavour. Listen actively to the sounds around you–even your own breath–without judgement. This exercise will anchor you in the present and make you happier and more grateful.

By practicing these exercises daily, mindfulness will become a part of your life and daily routine. Getting into the habit of mindfulness at work will bring you more joy, improve your mental agility and help you perform better in everything you do.