For most of us, the majority of our days are spent at work. Stress and exhaustion often go hand-in-hand with work, so I ask you- how much of that stress is a result of poor mental habits?
If you find yourself overwhelmed by future concerns or past obsessions and wish you were miles away basking in the sun on a tropical island, these tips will guide you in transforming your work into a more positive experience.
Ancient yogis and spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle, remind us that a task can become a source of joy and peace through mindful attention to the present moment.
Mindfulness can be defined as;
“paying attention in a particular way on purpose in a present moment and non-judgmentally.”
You may have heard of ‘vipassana’ meditation. ‘Vipassana’ means insight or truly seeing the nature of reality. Bringing your yoga mat to work and meditating for a few minutes every hour may raise some eyebrows of colleagues; you don’t literally have to bring meditation to the workplace. Adopting a few simple personal habits will increase productivity and decrease stress, allowing you to milk your workday for what it’s worth.
- Set the intention
At the start of your day, ask yourself how you want to feel. Breathe deeply and make a mental note to stay calm, focused and in the present moment throughout the day. The Huffington Post did an article on Why setting your intention daily will change your life which you may find beneficial.
- Do one thing at a time
Avoid multi-tasking and focus your attention on the current task you are tackling. Multi-tasking means you are dabbling in a few different things and your mind cannot maintain focused on one. Slow your thoughts down and focus on one thing.
- Take pleasure in your work when you can
This can be done by taking short breaks and gazing out the window and stopping to laugh with a colleague or appreciating a task that you enjoy or excel in. This will help create a positive working environment.
- When interacting with others be present
Stop what you’re doing and focus all your attention on the person that is speaking to you. Don’t just hear them, listen to them.
- Use your breaks to refresh your body and mind
Leave your desk for a short walk around the office, stretch your muscles and breathe deeply. Be mindful when you are having lunch or drinking tea. Pay attention to how the food tastes and the warmth of the tea.
- Use reminder stickers
Sticking these around your workplace will remind you to focus on the present moment. It may simply be a colour that triggers mindfulness or it may be a phrase or word that you write on the sticker.
- At the end of the day, return to your breath
Focus on your breathing and congratulate yourself on your mindfulness. It is crucial to leave work behind when you walk out the door. This will allow you to be focused on precious time with family and friends in the evenings and means you will thoroughly enjoy recreational activities.
By putting in the conscious effort to execute these tips, you will become less inclined to feed energy into the emotional states of restlessness, anxiety and craving. Over time the mind will become calmer and our emotional states more positive and balanced, hence creating a more positive overall experience of our workday.