It is the case with you, me and most of us out there, struggling to keep up the tempo with the fast pace of today’s 24/7 business atmosphere.
In today’s world of competition, it’s getting difficult to keep up with the fast pace business atmosphere. On one hand there is a problem of lagging behind in the job due to lack of mindfulness and on the other hand there is a threat of stress at workplace.
Due to the higher level expectation, the workplace has become a big stressor in our life. The never ending long working hours also adds to the frustration. Strict deadlines, continuous brain storming and cut-throat competition leaves us mentally exhausted.
Due to the lack of substantial measures to handle stress, we end up with lack of concentration, absent-mindedness, exhaustion and other psychological and physiological issues. These factors directly impact your work efficiency and productivity.
So what is to be done to help ourselves get out of these issues? I feel it’s all about thinking about this moment rather than worrying about what has happened or what is going to happen, which is called as mindfulness.
Mindfulness which is believed to have originated from Buddhism has been accepted by a large number of people as a definite method to control emotions. Mindfulness is now being used in psychology and psychiatric fields to reduce physical and mental stress of people as also to cure depression.
Mindfulness can be defined as a gentle effort to be continuously present with experience. Another school of thought maintains that mindfulness means maintaining minute-to-minute awareness of our thoughts, our feelings, and our surroundings.
Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness renders measurable benefits such as:
- Stress reduction
- Reducing blood pressure
- Increased clarity of mind, balance, energy, and zest for life
- Reduction in depression and anxiety
- Improved problem-solving and decision-making capability
- Improved memory
- Enhanced leadership
- More emotional intelligence, less reactive
- Mood regulation and immune system enhancement
The mindfulness based stress reduction techniques have been found out to be most effective. These simple strategies of mindfulness will help you in stress management at workplace, and you’ll be capable to fight the sources of stress more positively.
1. Just Take a Deep Breath
A regular meditation practice will give you the foundation for being mindful at work. Find a quiet place, sit upright, close your eyes and just let your breath flow naturally – do not try to control your breathing.
Feel your belly rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring back your focus to your breathing, and observe all the sensations of your body and the surrounding noises and smells without judging anything.
Do this relaxation exercise for about 5 minutes, and then slowly open your eyes and look all around you.
2. Gaze through a Window
Ah! This is what I often do when I am freaked out with my work or the world.
These days we find our offices located in confined environments with hardly a window that opens to the outside. We totally lose connection with Nature as all day we sit in the midst of artificial light and artificial air through air-conditioning. In fact, there are studies which prove that work-place exposure to natural light is linked to sleepand productivity of the employees.
Get out and take a walk out in the natural environment. If you cannot afford to, at least gazing out of a window would do – just gaze at, may be, the sky, birds or anything to connect with nature and feel the essence of the moment.
3. Allow Smooth Transitions
Throughout the day, when you move from one task to another, pause for a moment before hitting the next; give your mind some time to acknowledge that you are switching to the next task which has a different challenge. This can help you to be fully present in the moment and thus your entire focus will be on the particular task you are doing.
4. Smile and Be Your True Self
‘Smile goes many miles’ this is not just a cheesy line. Research has shown that smiling can make us feel relaxed and has a direct impact on our mind. Maintaining a joyful atmosphere in the workplace will curb down the stress. Moreover, if you laugh, smile and share some joy with your colleagues, it will boost a healthy atmosphere and also help everyone reduce stress.
5. No Work at Lunch!
No matter how busy you are, keep the lunch time for yourself. Nothing is bigger than a good health. Employ this time to eat healthy food at workplace, meditate, read books or to talk to people (not related to work). You might also plan a power-nap of 10-15 minutes which can be very productive for later work.
6. Haste is Waste
While returning from work, don’t be in a rush; relax while you drive or walk to your bus stop or train station, tune in to a radio or listen to your favourite tracks. Watch your steps or just recall what you have achieved that day and think how it could have been improved upon. Think about all the good things that took place on the day.
This type of lifestyle needs a bit of psychological training which might take some time to master but once it is done, it’ll surely be effective in stress reduction.
Please let us know your experience with mindfulness and about your way of dealing with workplace stress. You can also post queries in the comment box below. Don’t forget to share this technique with your friends who might be on the verge of a burn-out.
Photo Courtesy: counseling.ufl.edu, wendyk.uibcsites.com