Professionals in management jobs: How can you increase mindfulness at work?

With increasing complaints of stress and executive burnouts, professionals in management jobs as a result, sometimes suffer from not being able to be fully present. Given the multiple distractions moving from one project to another, or from one stack of email to a to-do list, it is indeed not an easy task. Today we bring some tips for enhancing mindfulness at work- yes it is possible.

mindfulness tips at work for professionals in management jobs

Mindfulness had its origins in Hinduism followed by Buddhism going back about 2,400 years, and has since spread across the west as a way to handle emotions, alleviate anxiety, and enhance one’s well-bring and satisfaction.

Mindfulness pioneer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines this age-old meditative practice as one that involves “paying focused attention to the present moment without judging or labeling the experience.”

Dr. Danny Penman, author of “Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World” says “Becoming aware of what’s going on around you can make a huge difference, because we spend so much time wrapped up in our thoughts that we lose contact with the real world.

That’s especially the case if you’re constantly bombarded by email, Facebook posts, and Twitter. It’s not really conducive to a calm and productive work environment.”

Step 1 for professionals in management jobs: Conscious awareness

In a sense, mindfulness helps us become more emotionally alert by reprogramming our mind to think in healthier, less stressful ways. Dr. Stephen McKenzie, author of “Mindfulness at Work” explains being fully mindful as “tuning into reality what we’re experiencing right here and right now – [and] fully connecting with our work, and accepting what we’re connected to.”

Mindfulness meditation involves self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity, and concentration (Walsh & Shapiro, 2006).

Increasing research in the field supports the view that the practice can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve memory, and lessen depression. The Duke University School of Medicine has produced research that shows that, in America, an hour of yoga a week reduces stress levels in employees by a third and cuts healthcare costs by an average of $2,000 a year.

A study published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal showed that just 25 minutes of mindful meditation in a day can help a person feel less stressed in an anxiety-inducing situation. Evidence of this kind has resulted in several companies, such as Google, Proctor & Gamble, Apple, and McKinsey & Company instituting mindfulness programs to help employees cope with stress.

Mindfulness programs generally involve multiple sessions that teach meditation techniques, such as controlled breathing and bringing thoughts back to the present. They also include exercises for toning down mental chatter and improving listening skills. Employees are taught to apply the techniques in their daily routines on the job and in their personal lives.

Step 2 tips for professionals in management jobs: Enhance mindfulness

We present some simple ways in which professionals in management jobs can practice mindfulness, and make it a part of their daily lives:

  1. Spend at least 5 minutes every day doing nothing.
  2. Notice the temperature of your skin and the background sounds around you to get in touch with your senses.
  3. Pay attention to your walk by slowing down your pace and feeling the ground against your feet.
  4. Use music or other techniques to practice meditation at work.
  5. Practice mindful breathing for a few minutes in the day. This involves focusing on the natural flow of your breath, while minimizing random thoughts to wander in your mind.
  6. Observe your thoughts, feelings, and emotions a few times in the day. Notice what is on your mind, let it be, and continue on.
  7. Immerse your hands in warm water to open up the blood vessels and trick your brain out of its stressful state.
  8. Use the time when you shower judiciously – not by thinking about what you need to do, or how something makes you feel. Instead pause your mind, focus on the scent of the soap, and feel the sensation of the water against your skin.
  9. Practice mindful eating: While you eat, pay attention to the sensory experiences – the texture, taste, smell, and appearance of the food, and the sounds when you bite into your food.
  10. Do some quick self-reflection at the end of the day.

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