The everyday life in an office can be quite stressful – mindfulness exercises can help.
Sometimes you’re drowning in e-mails, receive that odd phone call, or have to attend meetings that hold you back from completing your backlogged tasks. Especially in big offices where people have to work together, numerous stimuli are showering upon us at any time.This can be quite tedious – and not only that – these nasty little distractions eat up our attention, which is a valuable but unfortunately limited resource.
But don’t worry – You’re at the right spot! In this article we will show you how to implement mindfulness exercises at work or even on your way to work, which can help you regain focus and improve your attention. Check out the 8 following exercises to help you slow down your daily hustle.
1. An attentive sip of coffee
…or an other beverage of your choice.
In the office you often feel that you are being watched and you probably don’t want to sit in lotus position for your meditation. However, what is neither noticeable nor unusual in the office is drinking tea, coffee or water, and guess what? Your drink can be a mindfulness tool!
This is because the beauty of mindfulness is that it can be applied to all everyday activities – its only goal is to perceive a present situation fully and completely, but free of judgment. So let go of your work on the PC for a moment, and just focus on the next sip of your drink. Ask yourself: “How does the drink in my mouth feel? What does it taste like? What temperature is it at?” Observe the feeling of swallowing. Be in this moment fully, because in it you are enough; without doing anything, without fulfilling a certain role.
2. A short meditation at work
This may seem unusual when reading first, but you can also meditate at work without being noticed. For example, you can use your own breath: Count 10 of your breaths. Where do you feel the breath? In your nose? In your stomach? Close your eyes or fixate on an object (not the monitor). This short but effective exercise can help you to better integrate mindfulness into your office life – and if necessary, to clear your head a little bit. You will notice: meditation in the office is not that complicated!
3. Use the short way
Did you know that you can also be careful when walking or running? If you’re on your way to the kitchen, to the printer or to a meeting, try this: Walk as slowly as possible, just slowly enough so it doesn’t begin to look “weird” to others. Just walk consciously. As your thoughts wander, gently but surely bring them back to your body sensations. Feel the contact to the ground with every step. Feel your breath. Do not judge what you feel, just perceive it.
4. An attentive snack
Whether during your lunch break or in between times, it is most likely that you will start eating solid food during the course of your working day. This activity can also be combined with a few moments of mindfulness. Put the Smartphone away. Consciously eat with all your senses. What nuances do you taste? How does it feel on the tongue? What is the consistency and temperature of your food? This is another great mindfulness exercise for when you’re at the office.
5. I see something which you don’t
By now you have certainly noticed that the foundation of this article is to show to what extent everyday actions can be performed more mindfully. So now let us turn to our field of vision. If possible, look out of the window or at least into the distance to relax your eyes. What colors and shapes do you see? Just perceive without judging concrete things.
6. I hear something which you don’t
As the headline lets you guess, instead of using your sense of sight, you can also sometimes perceive the soundscape around you. No matter if it is the birds you hear chirping, your colleagues on the phone, your own fingers or those of your fellow human beings eagerly pattering on keyboards. Give yourself a few minutes to not do anything. Simply perceive, not value.
7. What about your attitude?
Sometimes it pinches in the back and we notice that we are sitting unevenly and/or uncomfortably, so maybe the position should be changed. Use these moments of attention and ask yourself how you are sitting at the moment. Are your shoulders relaxed? The back straight? Is the forehead smooth, the facial features relaxed?
8. Establishing mindfulness rituals
Before starting the next task, after sending an e-mail, in front of the filing cabinet or printer; take a few deep breaths. These rituals help to remember mindfulness breaks even in stressful phases.
…And whatever else you can think of
We hope that our ideas for a more conscious everyday working life have given you the desire to try out mindfulness at your office. A few minutes of mindfulness a day are enough, but it is the regularity that makes the difference. Therefore, keep trying and build more exercises into your routine day by day, step by step.
Further tips from us to slow down the daily work routine a little are to avoid multitasking and to stop checking your e-mails constantly! If possible, also switch off your push notifications.
A waste of time?
Breathe, eat, walk, and see. Most of it is what you do anyway. Why not do it in a more mindful way and thereby use those actions to promote your health?
A mindful life with mindfulife
Mindfulife is a young company consisting mainly of psychologists who have set themselves the goal of integrating mindfulness into the everyday life of individuals and companies. We bring meditation to offices and mindfulness into the working world – in Frankfurt am Main and the surrounding area!