Living in a world that places busyness on a pedestal means we aren’t fully present in our experiences as we plow through endless to-do lists.
But, slowing down can be beneficial for our wellbeing.
That’s where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness is a skill anyone can learn and, with consistent practice, even master.
Here are five ways to practice mindfulness at work so you can feel more focused, engaged, and productive:
1. 4-7-8 breathing exercise:
In this exercise, you take a breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and release the breath for 8 seconds.
This exercise helps reset the parasympathetic nervous system, taking us out of fight-or-flight mode.
2. Body scan:
A body scan is a mindfulness exercise that brings awareness to any tension you may be experiencing in the body and consciously releases it.
This can be easily done at your desk by closing your eyes, starting from your toes, and working your way up the body, one body part at a time.
Bring awareness to each body part, breathe deep and release the breath along with any tension you may be holding in that area.
3. Take a short walk:
When stress levels are high, it may be a good idea to get outside and take a walk. As you walk, focus on your surroundings – what plants do you see?
What are the characteristics of the buildings you walk by? Fully immerse yourself and observe without judgment.
This exercise helps you get out of your head and shake off emotions derailing your focus.
4. Take a lunch break:
The key is to take a break and fully disconnect from work and other distractions.
Savor every bite of your food as you eat without feeling rushed or eat with a loved one and chat.
Eating while in a relaxed state improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
5. Practice single-tasking:
Multi-tasking gives us the illusion that we’re being more productive when, in reality, it doesn’t help us much.
Instead, practice being present and focusing on one task at a time to increase mindfulness and reduce feelings of overwhelm.