In a world where stress is all around us, it’s hard to find time for things like mindfulness and meditation. Our daily lives are chaotic and uncertain, so trying to set aside time for things like these seems nigh impossible.
Even if your world is chaotic and stressful, you can still integrate mindfulness into your daily office job. Instead of trying to force it into your routine, find out how you can seamlessly integrate mindfulness into your day.
Understanding the Meaning & Purpose of Mindfulness
The goal of mindfulness is to have better control over your mind and the moment. Too often, we focus on suppressing unwanted thoughts to avoid anxiety or stress, but this only compounds the issue.
True mindfulness is experiencing thoughts, emotions, and sensations as they are. It’s about removing the judgement and connotations attached to them. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of our thoughts and feelings in the present.
Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness: “Paying attention; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Contrary to what you may think about mindfulness, it’s not about letting go. Instead, it’s about purposefully and consciously directing our attention to the moment in front of us.
All of this is typically experienced through meditation, but how can someone with a busy schedule and a chaotic lifestyle achieve mindfulness in their daily lives?
5 Tips for Integrating Mindfulness into Your Office Job
For many of us, stopping to meditate for 30 minutes just isn’t realistic in our daily lives. Instead, we have to find out how we can somehow incorporate mindful concepts into our office jobs. It may seem impossible, but these five tips will help you keep your daily routine intact while also enjoying the benefits of living in the present moment.
1. Stay Present Throughout Your Day
Mindfulness is focused on being aware and consciously present in any given moment. Instead of letting yourself coast through the work day, focus on being aware and present each moment. While you do this, you can simultaneously manage your mental and emotional status.
When your thoughts start to wander, acknowledge them and then turn your attention back to the task in front of you. Decide at the beginning of your day that you’re going to be present and set this intention in your mind before you start. Remind yourself of it throughout the day. And even if it means working slower, make an effort to work consciously. Give your full attention to every task, no matter how mundane it may seem.
2. Become a Single-Tasker
Most people pride themselves on being multi-taskers, but this isn’t the best way to achieve mindfulness at your job. While some people may claim that they can equally balance multiple tasks, the truth is that your brain isn’t equipped to handle everything at once.
Instead, you should focus on becoming a great single-tasker. When you work on multiple things at once, you may feel like you’re being more productive, but if you stop to look at everything, you’re actually getting less done overall. If you need help breaking the habit of doing everything at once, start by keeping track of how much time you spend on tasks. Group your goals into categories to work more efficiently, and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Between tasks, take a moment to be mindful. Stretch, take deep breaths, or go on a quick walk.
3. Change Your Perception of Stress
We perceive stress as something negative, and in doing so, we allow it to damage our health. If we change how we process stress, we can turn something unavoidable into something beneficial.
Mindfulness can help you achieve this change in perception. When you’re facing a stressful moment in your work, try focusing on how your body responds. Your heart beats faster and your breathing gets quicker. Try to see how these physical responses give you a boost of energy.
Imagine that your body is preparing you to overcome the obstacle in front of you. Be grateful for this change and treat it as a positive thing. You’ll soon find that stress isn’t as scary as you may have believed.
4. Be Grateful
Humans tend to skew towards more negative thoughts and focus on them over positive ones. This is an easy way to adopt the wrong kind of attitude. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your job or situation, be grateful for the things that are going right.
Focus on what’s going well around you. Acknowledge that things could be better, but remember that they could always be worse as well. Focusing on the positive things around you will keep your mind from spiraling into negative thoughts or anxiety.
5. Practice Short Mindfulness Exercises
Mindfulness exercises help train your brain to be more mindful on its own. While it might not be possible to find a 30-minute block of time in your daily life, you can perform similar exercises in one minute.
Consciously connect with one of your senses and focus on it for a small period of time. You don’t need to close your eyes or even sit down if you don’t want to; just be creative about finding these small moments to rethink your present situation. Check out these five meditations you can do at your desk for more mindfulness exercises.
How do you manage to incorporate mindfulness into your daily work? Let us know in the comments!