Most of us today have got on the bandwagon of the hustling work culture. Our schedules have gotten so busy that we have unknowingly paved the way for stress and anxiety to enter our lives. This has negatively impacted our productivity at work.
Practicing mindfulness exercises at work is said to have a positive impact on our physical as well as mental health. It is proven that these exercises can help retain focus at work and enhance creativity. It helps in being content and happy.
In this post, we shall share a few mindfulness exercises that you ought to incorporate into your work routine to improve your work life.
5 Mindfulness Exercises For Your Busy Work Life
1. Breathing exercises
Mindful breathing is a meditation technique that offers you the best way to start your day. It increases your focus at work and makes you more productive.
Spare a few minutes daily for breathing exercises while being seated at your desk. Breathe in for about three to four seconds, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the nose or mouth. At this time, focus solely on your breathing. Push away any thoughts that might come in the way of your conscious breathing.
Count your breaths while sleeping in positive energy and relax as you exhale. To begin with, devote three to four minutes to conscious breathing and then increase the number of sessions to ten to fifteen minutes a day.
2. Desk yoga
Desk yoga can help relieve any stress or tension one might feel after sitting at a desk for long hours. It provides relief from back pain and neck pain, thus improving wellness and increasing workplace productivity. Desk yoga also tackles the sedentary lifestyle that often causes fatigue and lowers energy levels among working professionals. Some of the yoga exercises you can do at your desk are:
- Neck rolls: Reduce tension and strain on your neck by rolling your head in a circular motion while tucking your chin to the chest and moving it from left to right.
- Shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders in an upward circular motion and drop them away from your ear. Alternatively, lift both your shoulders to your ears, hold your breath, and release them slowly.
Both these exercises are the best way to relax your shoulders.
- Chair Twist: Move your thighs towards the right side of the chair, preferably to the armrests, and move your body towards the left side. Hold this pose for 5 to 8 seconds and release.
3. Mindful stretching
While standing up with your weight equally distributed on both your feet, stretch as much as possible to release the tension in your muscles. You can also stretch while being seated by interlacing your fingers behind your back and straightening your arms in the process.
Another excellent stretching exercise is wrist stretch where you place your wrists at the edge of your desk with your wrist insides facing your computer and leaning away from the desk while flattening your palms. This is a beneficial exercise if you use keyboards for long hours.
4. Mindful walking
Practice mindful walking as you move around the office—the meeting room, pantry area, your colleague’s cubicle, the washroom, or any other space. Pay attention to how your body responds as you walk – feel the movement of muscles and be mindful of your surroundings.
Focus on the physical experience of walking. Keep your mind fixed on your gait and muscle movements instead of letting it wander around to other thoughts. The goal is to be conscious, observant, and attentive at all times.
5. Short meditation
Practice short meditation to take a break from your busy work schedule and reset your thoughts. These meditative sessions can be done anywhere and for the duration you are comfortable with. It will help you sharpen your focus, relieve stress, and recharge yourself for the rest of the work day.
This mini-meditation practice can be carried out at any time of the day. However, you do need a quiet place to find your focus and clear your head. Many companies are creating meditation spaces in their offices to encourage employees to take short meditation breaks.
You can pair your meditative sessions with some soothing music or aromatherapy to enhance the experience. Remember meditation is a wonderful tool for managing stress and increasing productivity at work.
More Mindfulness Interventions You Can Practice at Work
1. Mindful eating
Pay attention to the food you eat while at work. Because of the workload, you might often be in a hurry and end up eating lunch and snacks at your workstations. This might cause you to overeat or not eat, leading to digestion issues. Hence, you must practice healthy eating by eating your food slowly, savoring every bite, and chewing it thoroughly.
Take a proper lunch break by visiting your office cafeteria or outdoor garden away from your workstation and enjoying your food. This break will allow you to relax and refresh your mind and make you feel more motivated and focused when you return to work.
2. Mindful communication
Focus on having more empathic, honest, and compassionate conversations with people around you. Recognize the interactions that are aggressive or negative and train yourself to avoid such talks with mindful speaking and listening. Label your thoughts, acknowledge your feelings, and channel your emotions to be a better person for yourself and others. Practice mindful communication by following the below-mentioned tips.
- Mindful observation: Observe the people and things around you with great interest. Notice their behavior to make mental notes about what is happening at work. This will help you cope better with distracting thoughts or emotions and feel grounded in the present moment.
- Active listening: Listen to your coworkers by devoting your complete attention to the conversation and understanding the sentiment behind it. Besides listening, take note of their body language. Do not let other thoughts crowd your mind during this time. Maintain steady eye contact and listen to their talk without any judgment.
- Mindful speaking: Think before you speak. Be aware of the impact your words might have on the other person before you say them. Observe how the other person reacts to what you are saying and interpret these non-verbal cues. Make your conversations more engaging to build lasting relationships with your coworkers.
- Mindful response: Pull your thoughts together and center your attention on creating calm interactions with others. Instead of getting drawn away by anxiety and emotions in stressful situations, align your thoughts properly and have a solution-oriented conversation that helps both parties.
3. Mindful appreciation
Begin by appreciating the little things at work we tend to take for granted. Practice gratitude at your workplace. Compliment your coworkers and thank them for their support and contribution to a specific project. Recognizing their efforts and intentions will not just improve your mood but also build a positive work environment. Build an atmosphere of gratitude and appreciation at work and foster strong relationships to boost team productivity.
These were some of the easy mindfulness exercises and techniques you can easily add to your work routine to feel less stressed and more productive at work. These exercises do not require a lot of time or investment. You can do them easily at your workplace by sparing a few minutes from your schedule. Tap into the benefits this mindful approach offers and transform your life today.