The benefits of a formal mindfulness practice are well acknowledged and written about by the science and wellbeing community alike. Better sleep, improved focus, more self-control, less anxious; the list goes on. What often gets overlooked though, are the ways that we can integrate a mindful attitude throughout your daily working life. What does being mindful at work look like in reality?

The good news is that you don’t even have to make any huge changes, tweaking your existing routine a little really helps. The cumulative effect of these little changes can have as great an impact on one’s mental and physical wellbeing as a formal meditation practice. Whilst many forward-thinking companies are choosing to invest in the wellbeing of their employees by providing them with mindfulness courses and workshops, not all businesses have taken that step yet.

So what are some of the actions that you can do to spread that mindful peace throughout your working day?

Here are our top tips:

1) Don’t eat at your desk:

Lunch al-desko is a big no-no, although nearly all working professionals do it. Research has shown that when people eat whilst distracted (i.e. whilst sending emails and working on spreadsheets) they are more likely to eat more food and to make more unhealthy food choices. The opposite is true when these distractions are removed and people focus on what they’re eating; they eat less and make more healthy choices. In fact, mindful eating is now a widely used and highly successful treatment for binge eating and weight loss. So take just 20-minutes out of your working day, turn your computer screen off, put your phone on silent, and take some time to nourish your body properly, whilst noticing the colours, taste and textures of your delicious lunch. Research has also shown that taking this time to actually notice what you are eating improves our digestion too!

2) Take short pauses throughout the day:

Take out your phone and set yourself 4 daily reminders, spread throughout your working day, to give yourself a 30-seconds pause and take the following steps:

  1. Notice how you’re sitting and where you are located
  2. Notice the sounds, smells and sights around you
  3. Notice how your mind & body are feeling
  4. Notice what you’re working on
  5. Take 3-deep breaths
  6. Resume with normal activity

This is one of the most effective ways to spread awareness and calm throughout your daily life and it has a huge impact on your mental wellbeing, just try it out for yourself!

3) Mindful Walking:

A mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be about sitting down with your eyes closed, you can take your practice outside too! Walking outside has been repeatedly proven to be beneficial for our health, and bringing mindfulness to this only amplifies its benefits. If you walk to the train or bus station, try putting your phone and headphones away, and just walk. Whilst walking, notice the sensation of walking, notice the trees, buildings, birds and people that pass you by. You may even choose to take a mindful lunchtime walk around the block, getting some fresh air and boosting your mood.

4) Weekly Mindfulness Sessions:

If a business is truly committed to supporting their employees’ wellbeing and creating a mindful workplace, they may choose to offer everyone a weekly, guided Mindful Maintenance session. These 30-minute drop-in sessions are a way to integrate mindfulness into the working day, allowing people to take a break, reset, refocus and relax before getting on with their day. The presence of a fully qualified and highly-experienced mindfulness coach also means that people can bring any questions or challenges they may be having with their practice and work through them there and then.

5) Minimise Tech Distraction:

The endless notifications, pop-ups, open tabs, vibrations and flashing lights from the devices that surround us are enough to drive anyone to distraction! This constant stimulation can often leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and can completely destroy our workflow. We recommend:

  • Turning notifications off
  • Logging out of social media apps after you have used them
  • Only checking your email inbox three times per day
  • Setting time limits for certain apps on your phone

 

Making little tweaks to your existing daily activities is a really effective way to live a more mindful life as a whole. Just adopting 2 or 3 of the above recommendations will have a huge impact on your mental and physical wellbeing over time, and will really help you bring your mindfulness to work with you.

 

Which ones are you going to try out? Let us know how you get on!!