As we enter the blank slate of a new year, the question to ask ourselves is: how do we find space in our workday for mindfulness?
Promisingly, after a difficult year and a Global pandemic, our State of Mind survey data revealed that Australians understand the importance of maintaining good mental health, with 87.8% of respondents noting that mental and physical health is of equal importance. Let’s act upon this in 2021 and take positive steps to introduce mindful moments into our work days!
To help you and your colleagues on your mindfulness journey, we’ve pulled together a list of top 5 tips to help your mind thrive throughout your workday.
1. Breathe, you’ve got this
We all know that familiar feeling when you’re working to meet a deadline or get to the bottom of a never ending inbox and it almost feels like you’ve forgotten how to breathe! When this feeling creeps in it’s important to take a minute to sit back and focus on your breath.
Even if you can't leave your desk, you can take a Brain Break - a short three-minute breathing practice, on the Smiling Mind app that you can do anywhere, anytime. Your breath can act as an anchor for your attention and connect you to the present moment*.
Taking a short pause in this way can help you reset, think more clearly and execute the task at hand with a greater sense of focus.
*Note: if focusing on your breath is uncomfortable for you try focusing on the sounds that you can hear instead.
2. Check-in with your body
Throughout the working day take a minute to check in with your body. Try asking yourself a few questions such as ‘How’s my posture?’ ‘Can I feel any tension in my body?’, ‘Would it feel good to step away from my desk and take a short walk or stretch?’
Scanning your body slowly makes you aware of hidden tensions, which can help to release many of them simply by paying attention to them. Try a guided body scan in the Smiling Mind app in our Adults Mindfulness Foundations Program.
3. Practise gratitude for wins (big and small)
Practising gratitude helps us see all that is good in our lives, which can sometimes be tricky due to our brain's negativity bias, which is the inbuilt tendency we have to register negatives more readily and spend longer dwelling on them
Sometimes when we are having a busy day we may feel overwhelmed and unproductive. Instead of beating yourself up, try taking a moment to list some wins, big or small, you’ve had for the day. Maybe you cleared your inbox, made some progress on a larger project or simply made time for a break. Doing this daily will help you get better at recognising the progress you are making.
4. Get some fresh air
You may feel like you need to push through your work and not take any breaks. When you’re stressed and busy it can feel as though there’s no time to take a break but doing so can help you reset and refocus making you more productive. You don’t have time not to take a break! Try taking a short break outside the office. It's pretty simple but even a quick lap of the block or a lunchtime gym session can get you in the right headspace.
When you are outside take a few moments to pause and notice your surroundings by tuning into your senses. Notice what you can see, what you can hear, the temperature of the air against your skin.
5. Practise mindfulness with the whole workplace
Research has shown that mindfulness can help to reduce stress, increase productivity and build resilience, along with many other benefits. Regularly practising mindfulness can help achieve a good work-life balance because work-life balance and wellbeing are not just about flexible work schedules and office dogs!
Mental health is everyone’s business. Our Workplace program is designed to incorporate mindfulness meditation and help you tackle your workday.
The Smiling Mind Workplace Program includes 5 modules of premium content including videos, guided meditations and practical activities designed to enhance your knowledge of mindfulness and its benefits. Get your team on board perhaps by taking a moment for mindfulness at the start of meetings.
It is more important than ever to invest in your own and your employees’ mental wellbeing. Let’s put our best foot forward for ourselves and for our employees. For more information on the Workplace Program get in touch with our team here.