Mindfulness workouts for within the workplace! 

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Mindfulness exercises for in the office! 

It is a common misconception that mindfulness requires you to sit with your eyes closed for hours, preferably surrounded by crystals and incense. Fortunately, this is not the case. Practicing mindfulness doesn't take much time and you can even practice it in the workplace. Some companies like Apple, Google and Salesforce have special meditation rooms. Although you can easily practice mindfulness at your own desk without needing a formal meditation posture or special room.

Mindfulness means paying full attention to what is present with full acceptance and without judgment. This can be practiced several times a day, and the workplace is a perfect setting for this. Making the practice a habit will improve alertness and productivity while reducing stress and reactivity.

Practicing mindfulness at work several times a day is a very effective way to relieve the general stress that builds up from the moment you wake up. You can practice mindfulness even if your time is limited! You might be waiting for a meeting, a task at the computer, or in the bathroom. Here are 5 simple exercises you can do during your work day. They train your attention by drawing them to different objects while you are working!

Awareness of breath

Bringing your attention to your breath is the simplest and most accessible awareness exercise. Breathing is both a conscious and an unconscious act, it is a movement in the body that is always there. You can practice this several times a day

Breathe deeply into your stomach, paying close attention to the feeling in your body. Notice how your stomach and chest expand, and then slowly exhale. You can repeat this a few times if you wish.

Mindful walking

Mindful walking is an exercise that can be done in several places, including the workplace, of course. If you need to go to a meeting room, lunch, a coworker in another office, or even the bathroom, you can practice mindful walking.

The practice is that you focus your attention fully on the walking yourself. Try to notice how your body feels as you walk, notice the movement of muscles, take in the sights around you, and pay attention to your surroundings.

3-step arrival

The three-step arrival is a short, more formal exercise that you can do throughout the day. You can use it when you feel like you've been triggered and need to relax. It only takes a few minutes to complete the 3 steps. 1 minute per step is a good start.

The three steps of practice:

  1. Draw your attention to what is happening inside. You may notice some lingering thoughts, strong sensations in the body, or a strong emotion. Try to look at it from a distance and accept whatever you notice without having to pass judgment and change it.
  2. Narrow your focus to just watch your breath now. Watch the breath move in and out of your body, and when you find yourself thinking about your breath, bring your awareness back to the breath.
  3. Expand your attention to the entire body. Notice sensations that are there without even thinking about it.

You can find an audio version of the meditation here: XXX

Check-in to a meeting

Most meetings require you to use your sanity and reasoning skills to prepare to be up to date with the content of the meeting. You can also prepare for a meeting by checking in to get more out of your time together.

  1. Draw your attention to how you are feeling in the present moment. Do not try to change anything while briefly observing your body, thoughts, and feelings.
  2. Think about what the goal of the meeting is and how you want others to see you.
  3. Establish an intention to stay present during the meeting.
  4. Draw your attention to the whole body and the space around it.

You can practice this on your own or in a group to get everyone on the same page. Deloitte Assurance and Advisory Australia has a pre-meeting pre-recorded meditation that you can use as an example.

Mindful listening

How often do we really listen to someone when we are having a conversation? Often times, in our minds, we are more preoccupied with how we are reacting or with something that has nothing to do with it, rather than listening completely to what a person has to say verbally but also physically.

With mindful listening, we dedicate ourselves fully to the other person and what they are saying, while staying connected to what the implications are for ourselves. So you don't think about what happened before or what email to send later. But you focus fully on the words someone is saying and what their body is telling you. This makes for a more productive meeting while also building a stronger connection between you and the person you're talking to.

Conclusion

Practicing mindfulness does not require a lot of time, nor does it require you to sit still with your eyes closed in a difficult posture. You can take advantage of mindfulness in the workplace several times a day. Hope you enjoy these simple exercises and look forward to your feedback in the comments!

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