Feeling Stressed? Make Mindfulness part of the Workday
One thing most of us can agree on is that work can be hectic at times. And although there’s nothing abnormal about stress – it can often hinder our ability to work effectively and reach our full potential. Luckily though, there’s an antidote.
Mindfulness is the simple act of paying attention, inside and outside the mind, moment to moment. One method of achieve mindfulness is through meditation. By sitting down, following the breath and detecting sensations of the body. Researchers at The John Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that by meditating for as little as 5 minutes a day, you can learn to cultivate feelings of calm and peacefulness at will. This makes it easier to relax, reduces stress and increases overall happiness.
The potential benefits of this practice for your colleagues and work atmosphere are pretty obvious (right?), but often people find the initial stages daunting. That’s where the workplace can come in. While yes, our jobs can be a great cause of stress, they could also act as a countermeasure to it. Here’s how…
Introduce Mindfulness with Yoga
Yoga’s not only a form of exercise, it’s an effective method of improving mindfulness. It has profound benefits on both physical and mental health. Moreover, it’s more accessible than meditation. Where the benefits of seated mediation may seem far-off to your colleagues, yoga provides a more immediate gratification.
Not only does yoga calm the mind, it restores the body’s balance and releases physical tension built up not only by stress, but by spending hours at a desk. A study from Duisburg-Essen University in Germany studied the levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to stress, in 24 women both before and after a three-month yoga program. After the program, they were shown to have significantly lower levels of cortisol and felt considerably less stressed! So, why not try an office yoga morning to energize employees and get the day off to a peaceful start?
Create a Quiet Place
A final way you can integrate meditation and mindful activities into the workplace is through quiet places. These spaces allow employees to momentarily drop out of the daily grind and refresh. A comfortable and secluded retreat where one can focus on their work undisturbed can lead to a big boost in employee wellbeing, and significantly reduce stress levels.
While collaboration and teamwork are essential to any office dynamic, it’s equally important to give your employees the time and space to contemplate their work is peace. Counteract monotony and bring a sense of novelty to your quiet places by filling it with colour and a variety of furniture. This, combined with an ethos of mindfulness in the workplace, is a winning formula for happier offices!
Use Tea to Meditate
Among its many health benefits, tea has the potential to relieve stress and anxiety, help you feel good and keep you focused. Introducing tea to the workday can create an opportunity to break free of stresses during working hours.
Just listen to the water boil, watch the colours swirl in the water as the bag infuses, sense the gentle warmth of the cup on your palm. Feel the tea’s aroma linger around your nostrils before you take the first sip. Notice the effects of different tea flavours: how green tea perks you up, how camomile calms you down or how lavender brings forth bursts of joy.
Observing these small, often overlooked details can really ‘wake you up’. They temporarily transport you from a world of deadlines, targets and expectations to a one of simple, sensual relief. Such practices foster a positive outlook that can fight off stress, reinforce happiness and increase mindfulness.