Your guide to becoming mindful at work

A fast-paced work environment can get you stressed if you don’t know how to stay focused and recharge your energy. Being in fight-or-flight mode all the time will not only affect your productivity but can also jeopardize the quality of your work. One way to manage your stress is by practicing mindfulness. According to ScienceDaily, practicing mindfulness has been proven to improve three characteristics of attention — stability, control and efficiency.

We know the term ‘mindfulness’ has been glamourized into being a magical state that only certain gurus can reach. Yet, it is still unclear what employees can do in their office during the working hours to become more mindful. This is why we have created a checklist of the activities that will help you manage your stress levels at work.

1- Plan your week in advance
When you plan your week ahead of time, you get to see a full picture of the tasks that you need to accomplish. Therefore, you will be more in control of any last-minute changes to your schedule. You will also save yourself so much time instead of wondering what needs to be done on the day of the deadline. Moreover, you will be in a better position to evaluate your workload and can avoid over-committing accordingly.

2- Adopt a growth mindset
Having the right mindset is one of the most important cornerstones of mindfulness. It is something you work on achieving by developing positive habits and practicing them daily. Changing your mindset and belief system is one of the prerequisites to becoming mindful. For example, instead of perceiving a failed attempt as a flaw in your capabilities, you can see it as an opportunity to grow and learn something new.

3- Just breathe
We often forget to consciously breathe. When things get really stressful just PAUSE for a moment and breathe. Science has proven that breathing is actually one of the best ways to lower stress hormones in the body. In addition, when you breathe deeply and slowly, your brain starts to send signals to your organs to relax and unwind.

4- Eat right
We often tend to eat different types of unhealthy comfort food when we get stressed. However, so many research studies show that there is a direct correlation between consumption of junk food and increased levels of anxiety. A study published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal revealed that consumers of fast food are 51% more likely to develop neurotic symptoms such as depression, anxiety and chronic stress response.

5- Unclutter your workspace
It’s a no-brainer that your physical environment significantly affects the way you think, feel and behave. The Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University proved that your brain gets affected by the visual order of your workspace. An FMRI scan showed that continuously having any visual reminders of disorganization (such as a cluttered desk) can deplete you off your cognitive power and decrease your ability to focus.

Mindfulness is not a magical state that is farfetched from reality. In fact, everyone can achieve this productive state by investing in the right routine. The small steps we take today will make up your routine on the long run. If you are someone who finds a fast-paced work environment challenging, then we highly recommend you start planning your week in advance, adopting a growth mind-set, consciously breathing, eating right and uncluttering your workspace.

By Mai Elsayed, Communications Executive at Active DMC