Mindfulness is paying attention to what is going on inside and outside of ourselves in each moment.
It actively promotes removing ourselves from our heads and noticing how our thoughts are triggering our emotions (and vice versa) and driving our behaviour.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. When we can see ourselves and our environments in the present moment, it can positively change the way we approach ourselves and our lives.
Mindfulness practice activates and builds up the part of our brain responsible for emotional control and decision making, enabling us to ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’ to situations. Here are some tips to get you started with workplace mindfulness.
Practice mindfulness regularly– both formal meditations and informal ones (doing some everyday activities such as walking, eating, etc. mindfully) – not only helps us respond to the pressures of work in a calmer and more productive manner, but also gives us more clarity and focus, and helps us make more optimal decisions.
There are a range of apps you can download that will help you to get started with regular mindfulness practice. Explore the different options to find the guided meditations that you find most engaging. They all vary in length and approach – you can opt for mindfulness for stress relief, a better night’s sleep and more.
If you can, aim to do a ‘three-minute breathing space meditation’ at least once a day. You can do this by stopping, closing your eyes and checking in with your thoughts, breath and bodily sensations.
Think you’re too ‘busy’ for mindfulness? Pick one activity during the day (e.g. making yourself a cup of tea) and do it mindfully – bringing your focus to what you’re doing in that moment.
This is the perfect way to practice mindfulness, if you’re not quite ready to fully embrace it, as it takes no more of your day than the activity you’d be doing anyway.
Try practising mindfulness every day for a week and you will soon notice you are calmer, able to focus better, make effective decisions and have greater mental clarity in all aspects of your life.
Nikola Goranovic is director at the Sussex Wellbeing Company and is leading a Brighton Chamber Bite-sized Learning session: Tackling workplace stress with mindfulness on September 27. For more information, visit: www.businessinbrighton.org.uk