In a hurry, but still want to feel centered in a busy day? Next to formal mindfulness meditation exercises, there are also lots of other habits to reduce your stress and get centered during your workday. Besides, it is not always practical (or should I say, always not practical 😉 ) to sit down and shut your eyes for ten minutes. It’s very beneficial to be mindful and centered during the day however, but you do have to make this happen. Here are 5 tips to be more mindful at work.
5 tips to be more mindful during your workday
Mindfulness meditation has a lot of advantages for your body. It reduces stress hormones and makes you more centered. With mindfulness meditation, you basically practice how to maintain your focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. Whereas this is easier to do at home – I don’t imagine myself sitting in the office with my eyes shut – there is another way you can practice being mindful in the office. Not through meditation, but by making sure you get centered and get back in the “now”. With the tips to be mindful during the workday below, you work on incrementally improving your state of wellbeing. Therefore, it is way easier to get centered during your workday in the long run, as you can practice these habits at any time to get better.
1. Taking a lunch break
Taking a lunch break might feel counterintuitive if you’re really busy. However, making sure you get a healthy meal and get out of your workplace for just 30 minutes, helps to relax and give you more energy again. I’m convinced the 30 minutes you spend on your lunch break will pay dividends later in the day because of increased productivity. Besides, haven’t you made stupid mistakes because you were tired? I have. And after the mistake you spend an hour or even longer to correct it afterwards. Such mistakes are probably preventable and in this example it is very clear a 30 minute break pays off.
2. Stand up for a walk and stretch each hour
Your body needs movement. When you move or walk, this helps your blood to flow through your body and prevents getting sore muscles. Next to that, you burn more calories and it gives you an opportunity to get centered, even just for a minute. You could use the time you go to the coffee machine to do this.
3. Be mindful of negative chatter
When something happens at work that you don’t like, a lot of times the negative chatter starts in your head. Either about yourself or the person who is causing the situation you don’t like. Try to catch yourself when this happens. Negativity does not bring you anywhere and is not constructive. For more background on why a positive attitude matters, you can read this article.
4. When you start to feel out of control, exit the situation
When you’re thrown into a stressful situation at work, you may start to feel out of control. When this happens, try to catch yourself and exit the situation. Maybe take a break or something. This way, you give yourself time to come up with a proper response. Nowadays, people often send an IM or an email, so you have time to respond anyway . If somebody is really negative, it usually does not help when you get angry as well.
5. Being mindful to eat regularly and healthy
When you eat regular meals (at least breakfast, lunch and dinner) at regular intervals this helps you to be in a better mood, so be mindful about what you eat. Make sure to eat primarily wholegrain food, vegetables and fruit. This helps the sugar level in your blood to be on about the same level throughout the day.
You should prevent eating or drinking too much sugar. When you for instance drink your coffee with sugar, your the glucose level in your blood will peak for just a small moment and then drop all the way to the bottom. So it’s a no-brainer, but healthy and regular eating really helps you to feel more centered.
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You don’t have to practice meditation to be mindful throughout the day. With the 5 tips to be more mindful at work I’ve mentioned above, you will come a long way to feel more centered:
- Taking a lunch break
- Stand up for a walk and stretch each hour
- Be mindful of negative chatter
- When you start to feel out of control, exit the situation
- Being mindful to eat regularly and healthy