Even if you’re lucky enough to have a super laid back and relaxed work environment, I’m willing to bet that stress still gets to you at work once in awhile. One study found that 60% of employee absences could be traced back to stress, and that number has been on the rise.
While there are a variety of factors in the workplace that can lead to stress, most are just out of our control. So what can we do about? Most of us are not going to up and quit an otherwise perfectly good job. And even if you did, what’s to say that your next job won’t cause the same stress?
So what can we do about on-the-job stress? We can learn to incorporate mindfulness to help us deal with it.
Try these 5 things to help curb your stress at work:
Take one deep and meaningful breath. Take notice of the feelings as the breath flows in through your nostrils, fills your lungs, and then flows back out of your mouth as you exhale. Even just one meaningful breath can make a difference. If you do nothing else, do this.
2. Take it further, with 1 full minute of mindful breathing
If you’re alone and have a just a minute to spare, try practicing taking deep mindful breaths for 1 full minutes. Sit quietly and just focus on your breathing. You don’t need to control your breathing in any specific way, just notice it.
Practice mindful breathing regularly and you’ll feel even more benefits.
3. When you’re in a meetingâ€¦
While you’re sitting in your next meeting, instead of drifting off into your thoughts or mindlessly doodling on the paper in front of you, actually listen. And listen mindfully. Notice the context of what’s being said, take notice of facial expressions, posture, tone of voiceâ€”don’t just listen to the words being said. Being able to truly listen can change the way you interact with everyone around you.
4. Try being instead of doing for just a moment
Stop trying to go-go-go all the time. Stop working for just a moment. Stop thinking about everything you have to do. Try to just be in the moment, think about what it feels like to just be with no goal, no motivation, no stress. Just be in the moment.
5. Walk mindfully
Whether you’re walking to the bathroom or into a meeting, do it mindfully. Feel your feet as they press upon the floor, feel the way your balance shifts as you move. Look at what’s going on around you. See the sun glimmering in through the windows, notice the people you walk by, pay attention to the objects you see around you. This is a simple way to build mindfulness into your day without much effortâ€”you can do it anytime, anywhere, not just at work!
Get more mindful tips and explore more mindfulness on our Technology for Mindfulness Podcast, listen to the latest shows here.