Practicing Mindfulness in the Workplace
In today’s world, there are a lot of things that can cause us stress and anxiety. As we all know, stress and anxiety can take a significant toll on the mind and body. In fact, a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that almost 40% of Americans feel that the stress of the pandemic alone has negatively impacted their mental health. Now more than ever, it is extremely important to practice mindfulness and wellness both in and out of the workplace. So here are some tips on how to implement mindfulness into your daily life!
Take a Moment for Yourself Whenever You Need To
You may have this preconceived notion that meditation is only when you sit down on a yoga mat and take an hour out of your busy day to breathe in and out really slowly. However, this isn’t at all true. Research has found that even a single minute of mindfulness is extremely helpful. There's no need to close your eyes. You don't even have to be seated. You just need to find ways to include mindfulness activities into your daily routine. A quick mindfulness exercise can be a lifesaver when you're under a lot of pressure at work as it helps to regulate your neurological system by reducing the fight-or-flight response and activating the wisdom part of your brain, allowing you to make rational judgments rather than reacting to situations reflexively.
Take Things One Step at a Time
In today’s workaholic society, we are obsessed with being able to complete as many tasks as we can as fast as possible in order to maximize efficiency. This is called multitasking, and it is extremely counter-productive. Rather than doing multiple things at once, your brain is frantically jumping from one task to the next, often losing data in the process. The productivity that people feel when they multitask is an illusion, so instead, try to keep a schedule and allocate blocks of time to specific tasks and take moments every now and then to reflect on what you’ve achieved in those blocks of time in order to ascertain whether you’ve been single or multitasking.
Adopt the “Growth Mindset”
As explained by Stanford University researcher Carol Dweck, people generally fall under one of two types of mindsets: the fixed mindset or the growth mindset. People who have a fixed mindset feel that their core characteristics, such as intelligence and talent, are unchangeable. They waste their time hoping that their characteristics would lead to success rather than developing their knowledge and talents. They don't strive to improve themselves because they assume that talent is the only factor that matters when aiming to be successful-- believing that you're born good at certain things, bad at certain things, and that's that. However, this is scientifically incorrect. Those with the growth mindset understand that you can increase your ability in any category by broadening their avenues, adapting to different scenarios, and understanding that while they have certain innate talents, they can build on them. When those with growth mindsets experience failure or a setback, rather than thinking they are bad at something, they reflect on what went wrong and how they can improve upon it.
In truth, adopting the growth mindset is the overall goal of practicing mindfulness. That's what mindfulness at work is all about: believing that you can improve and grow with experience, taking on new challenges, living in the now, and learning new things about yourself and others.