By Sadaf Abbassi, M.A student of career counseling

How to stay mindful at workplace

April 17, 2018

We usually spend around 8 hours a day at workplace. Regardless of how much we are found of our job, who can claim that sometimes workplace is confusing or annoying place.

There might be days that we are not in the right mood, things are not going well at home or there are some problems at work. For these inevitable situations, we suggest you to benefit from mindfulness. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.

It has been said that the human mind is like a monkey, jumping from one bench to another and from one thought to another. This monkey is hard to control, but since we are human beings, mastering our minds should be one of the greatest ways to improve both our personal and professional development. 

Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possess and there is no need for special trainings. Although mindfulness is innate, it can improve by doing some techniques, which are in a vast range; such as lying down, being seated, walking, standing or moving, and meditating. While trying to be fully present, it might seem a little bit difficult at the beginning and you may feel like you are losing control, but just keep up with your mind and watch how things becomes more  clear to you. Here are some things you can do to stay mindful at work:

Smile

It’s no magic. It has been scientifically proven that repetitive smiling changes the mood and increases neurons (brain cells) ability to maintain a positive point of view toward life. Smile, even if you are tired or are not in the mood. The amazing fact about smiling is that it is contagious. When you smile at people, it makes them feel relax so they respond you in a positive way, and consequently, you will feel better about yourself. It may seem strange but smiling has such a strong impact on our brains that even looking at a smiling face in a photograph will make you feel safe and happy. It also reduces stress.

Relax

Take several deep breaths, pay attention to every part of your body, and loosen their muscles to remove physical tension out. Focus on your breathing rhythm and witness how inhaling more oxygen sharpens your awareness. This will reduce pressure, anxiety, tension and calms the brain down. Even spending some times at workplace for doing religious rituals is a great way to increase your concentration.

Yawn

It may seem funny but the effect of yawning has been neglected, even among scientists. This yet mysterious body function, reduces anxiety, improves self-awareness and the ability to empathy. Although Yawning seems to be against social manners, it has immediate effect on the body and brain to relax and increases memory and cognitions. Try to artificially yawn for 6 to 15 times, after that, a real one will come and you will find yourself mindful and totally relaxed.  

Meditate 

Meditation has wonderful effects on your body and brain. Meditating 20 to 30 minutes a day, increases physical and emotional health, releases anti-stress hormones, and has positive effects on cognition and mental health. You can find somewhere quiet at work for meditating only a few minutes to see how it affects your mood and function at work.

Light exercise 

Exercise empowers the brain just as it empowers the body. It might be considered as a meditation because exercise increases concentration and regulates breathing that leads to being mindful. Exercise protects us from tension damages, reduces stress, and is as effective as anti-depression medicine. Even if you cannot leave your work for a few minutes, you can stretch your body right where you are and notice how it makes you feel happier and more present-minded.

Talking 

Talking requires social communication, and the more sociable you are, the better your cognition system works. In fact, every kind of social isolation damages the brain and causes aggression, depression and other psycho-neurological disorders. Without communication, we will not be able to cooperate with others or achieve peace. Try to have a small and peaceful conversation with your colleagues to create empathy and compassion, which will improve your brain function.

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