How to Be Mindful at Work

by Mia Bates

For many of us mindfulness sounds so appealing. Who doesn’t want to be calmer and more present? 

In the busyness of life, we are all looking for that sense of clarity and peace that mindfulness practice promises.
But how can we manage this when our days are so full? Is there a way to mindful and still manage a busy 9-5? Is it possible to be mindful at work?

Here are some tips to do just that. 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness, put simply, is the practice of being present in the moment

Have you ever driven somewhere and when you arrive not really remember how you got there? Mindfulness is the opposite of this. 

Mindfulness is about being fully in the moment. It is about being connected to your senses and experiencing what is right in front of you.

When you think of mindfulness you might think of meditation. You’d be right to do so, as mindfulness and meditation are two sides of the same coin.

Meditation helps us to train our mind to focus more easily on what is happening in the moment. Mindfulness is what you do when you come off the meditation mat. It is about taking what you learn there and applying it to your life.

Mindfulness is made to be practiced in your everyday life, even when you are hustling at your busy 9-5 job. Yes, you really can be mindful at work!

 

Getting Started with Mindfulness

To get into the swing of the mindful way of thinking you might consider starting your day with a short meditation. 

The great news about mindfulness meditation is that just 10 minutes per day can make a big difference to your mental wellbeing. There are lots of apps that can guide you through this process like the Headspace app.

The potential benefits of mindfulness meditation are huge from reduction in anxiety to better mental performance. 

 

You can also integrate moments of mindfulness throughout your working day. Here are a few ideas to get you started on bring mindful at work.

 

A Mindful Commute

The first opportunity to integrate mindfulness into your working day could be your commute.

Whether you are walking, driving or travelling by train, dedicate some of this time to being fully present to your journey. What sounds can you hear around you? What do you notice that you haven’t seen before? 

Over time we become desensitized to the things we see often. Practicing mindfulness on your commute will remind your brain to come back to the present and you might be surprised by what you see!

 

Set up your workspace

Many of us spend huge amounts of time at our desks. Our workspaces make a big difference to how we feel through the day so it is worth investing some thought into making them a creative and happy place to be.

As well as improving your workspace, consider placing some reminders of mindfulness around you. You could display some positive affirmations or quotes around your desk space.

Or, perhaps you could choose an image that reflects what mindfulness means to you. Every time you spot this image it will be a reminder to breath deeply and to return to the present moment. A reminder that there is a place of calm you can always return to.

 

Give yourself mindful pauses

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day and for all thoughts of mindfulness to fly out of the window. One way to tackle this is to create intentional pauses in your day.

Some people find that setting alarms helps. When the alarm goes off take a moment to breathe deeply and come back to yourself.

You could also try the Three Minute Breathing Space Meditation in the middle of your day to find a moment of calm.

If you can, try and get out of the office and away from your desk at lunchtime. This would be an ideal time for a walking meditation. Simply focusing on the sensations you feel as you walk can bring a moment of peace in to an otherwise busy day.

You might also find some time in your lunch break for journalling. This acts as a release for you thoughts and feelings, along with many other benefits.

 

In whatever way you approach it, mindfulness practice can be hugely beneficial - especially for those of us with busy lives! 

So, no matter how busy your working day is, it is possible to make time to become more mindful. Whatever your day brings, using these simple tips will help you to find mindful moments in every day that suit your lifestyle.