Home – New Forums Wellbeing & balance 10 Steps to Practice Mindfulness at work

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  • #995141
    fray674
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    That’s what most of the persons we meet in the workplace need – tools. Tools to be more effective, efficient and productive and less stressed. Often, what they want are answers to difficult problems – more often than not, what they need is out of their power

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    So the question then becomes – is there a master tool? If the greatest desire of a lot of people at the workplace is control – is there any “tool” to assist them?

    Well – there is no formula, magic or tool to control other people – or issues that can often feel random and unusual. However, there is a tool we have that is within our area of control – and its power is being revealed and explored by an ever-growing body of experimentation – and that is “mindfulness.”

    Mindfulness, a practice, and a concept inherited from Buddhist beliefs, has found its way into mainstream medicine and psychology – and gradually into the workplace.

    The advantages of mindfulness are innumerable – and the list keeps on getting longer and longer: relationship issues, eating disorders, anxiety, help with sleep disorders, phobia issues, overall stress management, alleviation of pain, help with quicker recovery from surgeries and depression.

    The “magic” of mindfulness is that it resets neural networks. Cutting edge science proceeds to prove this in powerful ways. And the exciting news is, that power comes from us. We are the tool.

    Now, What is Mindfulness?

    As earlier stated– Mindfulness is a practice and a concept. While there is no set meaning, it can best be defined as:

    Paying focused concentration on purpose without judgment to the experience of the immediate moment.

    This interpretation comes from mindfulness pioneer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Western Buddhist practitioner who founded the famous “Stress Reduction Clinic” at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA.

    According to Kabat-Zinn, at its essence, mindfulness is the “confluence of attention, intention and present time experience. It is the awareness of being aware”.

    Daniel Stern, the author of “The Present Moment in Psychology and Everyday Life”, defines the present time as “being around about three seconds – between three and ten. And in explaining Stern’s work, author Ruth Cohn expounds, “many intentions in culture and nature that occupy such periods of time: an interchange of communication between a caregiver and baby, a conversational “turn,” a musical phrase, a cycle of breath inhaled and exhaled. Perhaps the moment of now is an indispensable ingredient in the operating system of our design.”

    Bringing the Benefits of Mindfulness to Our Work
    Developing conscious mindfulness in our everyday life takes much effort. Many related practices like yoga, time spent in the natural world, meditation, time spent away from media and technology, will help you to cultivate mindfulness. But the mind needs the consistency and focus of a regular practice if it is to discontinue old neural models and learn new ones.

    For many people, the workplace is one of the most stressful places in their lives. Demands are constant. Disagreements, even non-conflicting ones, among people, requires lots of neural strength to manage. Most individuals in this culture work too many hours, often with no breaks. Many workers operate in a below – level flight or fight mode. With no touch with feelings and the thinking models that reinforce anxiety and stress, many people continually “re-trigger” those abrogating habits all through the day. Mindfulness practice allows the potentialities of emotional and mental rest, despite all the events that surface in the average workday.

    10 Steps to Practice Mindfulness
    Be committed to practice. The initial start is to become more aware of being aware. Fundamentally, mindfulness is the art of being an observer of yourself – your behaviors, feelings, and thoughts; as the definition above states – without judgment.

    Begin slowly – today I will become more aware of _________, and work by placing your attention on exactly that.

    Start every day with a few minutes of mindful awareness. Breathing is the answer to opening up your awareness. Instead of skipping right out of bed into your daily routine, take a few minutes to see how you feel and consciously set your purposes for the day.

    If your trend is to move at a very fast pace while getting your day started, concentrate on slowing yourself down. Even if you have to do many things in a short time – you can constrain the racing to-do list in your mind. This will help control your sinews in a different way.

    In the course of your work, learn how to listen to other people. This demands you to turn your energy to the other person and take the attention off you and your mental to-do list, even for a few moments.

    Consider ways to recognize others needs, difficulties, accomplishments, and practice simple, small acts of empathy and kindness that may lighten their weight. They have problems too!

    Pay close concentration to your body language. Our body disposition has a tendency to close our attention down – or opening it up. We can’t stress enough the importance and value of learning how you control your breath.

    Watch your language – the words you use affects your physiology. When you tell a co-worker that you are “slammed” as regarding work– you are telling your brain that it is having or about to have a bad experience.

    Take a few moments to recognize what you would like your result to be in certain interactions – an important call, meeting or email. Most of us find ourselves in the middle of interpersonal circumstances with no clue of what we desire. In a shorter term – know your intention.

    Find some time, at the end of your workday or later during the day for self-reflection. It’s challenging doing this without judgment. Judgment and discernment are very different. Practice observing without judging.

    I didn’t say this was going to be easy. That’s why it’s called a practice. We get the opportunity to do it over and over again until we can mold our habits by observing the little changes and shifts.

    #1200265
    MichaelF
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    A great breathing exercise I often use is ‘Box Breathing’. Simple, yet extremely effective.

    Inhale – 4 seconds
    Hold – 4 seconds
    Exhale – 4 seconds
    Hold – 4 seconds

    Repeat as many times as you like.

    Made famous by the great Iceman – Wim Hof.

    #1200266
    arrowwise
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    In summary try to live and focus within the very now minute at least a few times per day, without worrying about the future and dwelling in the past.

    #1200267
    Cody
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    MichaelF, post: 237122, member: 79983 wrote:
    A great breathing exercise I often use is ‘Box Breathing’. Simple, yet extremely effective.

    Inhale – 4 seconds
    Hold – 4 seconds
    Exhale – 4 seconds
    Hold – 4 seconds

    Repeat as many times as you like.

    Made famous by the great Iceman – Wim Hof.

    Wim Hof is a legend!

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