Mindfulness at work – a simple technique

It’s a busy world and spare moments are becoming increasingly rare. In fact, spare moments are becoming so rare that when they do occur the habitual impulse is often to panic and fill this “spare” time by busying yourself; often scrolling through your emails or clicking onto Facebook etc.  However, by keeping yourself constantly busy it can be easy to lose connection with the present moment.

The more mindfulness that you practice during your day, the more powerful the effect. Being mindful helps on so many levels including helping you to savour pleasures as they happen and be more absorbed in each activity without flitting from one task to the other.

By becoming aware of the present moment and acknowledging your reactions when you have any time that’s unaccounted for; it enables you to bring more happiness and calm into the present moment.

Next time you’re waiting for a bus or have hit send on an email after a busy flurry of work, or are waiting for the kettle to boil, etc.

Notice how you react  – where does your mind start to wander and is your knee-jerk reaction to busy yourself with the next task? Do you feel the need to busy yourself, do you panic  or feel that you should be “doing” something?

A simple mindfulness technique to use when you have a moment:

  • Become aware of your connection to the ground

Feel your feet connecting with the floor and push them down so that you start to lengthen from your feet to the crown of your head so that you are standing or sitting straight up. Imagine a cord drawing the crown of your head towards the ceiling and gently draw your chin in so that the neck lengthens.

  • Notice your breath – the rise and fall of your natural breath.

Start to notice the physical act of breathing – the breath as it moves in through your nose and the downward flow of the air into your belly as your abdomen expands fully.

Become aware of the sensation of each inhale and exhale and notice any spaciousness the breath creates.

  • As your mind starts to drift – which it inevitably will – notice where it drifts too and bring it back to the breath.

As the breath enters your body let the breath settle and move through your body before it moves out through your nostrils.

  • Engage your senses fully – notice each sight, sound and touch so that you become aware of and savour each sensations.
  • Continue this for up to 2-5 minutes – as your thoughts stray just bring them back to the breath.

There are a number of exercises and ways to practice mindfulness. Yoga & Meditation practices help to draw attention to mindfulness and by cultivating everyday mindfulness it enables you to embrace each moment more fully and remain focussed and relaxed – accepting each emotion and appreciating each moment regardless of what it holds.

Just think about today; did you take time to really notice the taste of your breakfast today or notice that new leaves were emerging from the trees on your way to work this morning?

Mindfulness meditation can help you to cultivate mindfulness and although you can learn to implement mindfulness on your own it can help to gain the support of an instructor to help you to stay motivated. It can also be very powerful to work with a group of colleagues and implement mindfulness techniques together to help with a more cohesive team environment.