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Living in the present isn’t as easy as it sounds. While it’s technically true that we’re all living in the present, in actuality, most of us are only 10% present at any given moment.
The rest of the time we’re living in our minds.
That’s where mindfulness comes in. With it, we’re able to ‘be present’ in the moment and accept it without judgement.
In this article, we explore mindfulness in the workplace. We define it, discuss its benefits and suggest activities your employees can use during times of increased pressures at work.
It’s the practice of focusing attention solely on the current moment.
It means paying attention to the ‘now’ and involves relaxing, concentrating on sounds and thoughts, accepting the present moment. Without judgment.
But does mindfulness work? Yes. Research carried out by the University of Surrey found that practising mindfulness potentially reduces stress and anxiety by as much as 40%-58%, respectively.
In terms of the workplace, as well as the research above, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that mental health conditions were one of the four most common reasons for sickness absence at work.
It doesn’t matter how much you love your job—sometimes deadlines, workloads, early starts and late finishes can cause stress and anxiety. A great way to combat this is by practising mindfulness.
Mindfulness brings with it numerous advantages. It provides a break from being caught up in thoughts to focus on reconnecting our bodies with the sensations they experience.
Overall, it helps us to understand ourselves better and enjoy the world around us.
When done right, mindfulness can contribute to:
There are countless small things you can do to accept the present without judgement. Mindfulness exercises don’t have to take hours. Even just a minute—60 seconds—can ground you in the present.
This simple breathing exercise video shows you how to breathe deeply and rhythmically for one short minute. Focus on the exercise and breathe along.
You’ll find that mindfulness breathing exercises focus, sharpen and clear the mind—and it’s just the beginning of your journey towards peace of mind.
The best mindfulness exercises are simple, effective, and only take a few minutes. Here are a few examples:
Some of these mindfulness activities may seem a little counter-intuitive. But if you’re a very target-focused, intense person, slowing down might be the last thing you want to do.
Consider the following mindfulness techniques:
As well as those mentioned above, we’ve explored some mindfulness exercises that work effectively for anxiety.
They’re designed to help with understanding the thoughts and feelings (positive or negative) going through us at any given time.
Here are four different mindfulness exercises for anxiety to consider:
The Health Assured online portal features plenty of great advice on the benefits of mindfulness at work, along with exercises and webinars designed to help you achieve a sense of calm, and oneness with the present—along with lots of other topics.
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