The mindful workplace

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Mindfulness…. The buzz about town

Mindfulness is everywhere these days, and for good reason too.

Mindfulness is a fancy word for giving your full, open-hearted attention to what is immediately occurring in your life.

You could be baking a cake, helping your children with their homework, walking the dog or diving into a task at work… Whatever it is you’re doing, being mindful allows us to better understand situations, emotions, other people and what is actually happening. It allows us to respond appropriately, rather than just react. It also enables us to get the most out of our lives every day.

A positive working environment, can counteract stressful situations and makes people happier.

And in the workplace, that means greater focus and output. So finding ways to bring mindfulness into the workplace is a bit of a no-brainer.

Why be mindful?

Being aware of what you’re doing and how you’re feeling in each moment can boost positive emotions such as joy and happiness. Who doesn’t this want these good vibes and energy to flow into their workplace?

Practicing mindfulness can:

  • decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • decrease the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • improve concentration and the ability to learn.
  • increase resilience.
  • increase calmness.
  • enhance self-awareness.
  • help with conflict resolution and the development of positive relationships.
  • increase wellbeing.

So how do we ‘do’ mindfulness in the workplace?

Mindfulness helps us to achieve our goals. And when we ‘Take Notice’ of the present moment, to our thoughts and feelings and to the world around, our wellbeing gets a boost.

When staff are supported in the workplace, they are more likely to be able to practise mindfulness and be fully present - rather than stress out about the task at hand. 

Here are some practical tips to introducing mindfulness into the workplace:

  • Begin meetings with karakia (prayer) or a short reflection (e.g. an inspiring quote) followed by a brief period of silence, allowing people to breathe mindfully and bring their full attention into the room. End in a similar way. 
  • Get everyone involved and kick off meetings with a short minute breathing exercise - we're fans of Hikitia te Hā.
  • Get the gratitude flowing - write down at least one positive thing that happened during your day and think about why it made you happy.
  • Leave your desk at lunch time and relax for a bit. Get outside and go for a walk, or find a quiet place to sit with your thoughts for 15 minutes. It can help you avoid that after lunch slump!
It’s important to note that everyone is different, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to bringing mindfulness into the workplace. Figuring out what works best for your workplace might take time, so be patient, and if in doubt, know that help is on hand.

Want to know how mindful you are? 

Do you savour life or let everyday stresses control you?

To find out how mindful you are, take this quiz!