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Member Appreciation Month Tip: Practice Mindfulness at Work

Your challenge for today is to dim the lights in your office, sit (in lotus position) on your newly decluttered desk, close your eyes, and hum for the next 30 minutes.

Just kidding! Sort of anyway.

Today we're learning how to incorporate a few minutes of mindfulness into our professional lives to help us cope with work-related stress and push the reset button on our mind.

What is mindfulness? While it sounds new-agey, mindfulness has been practiced by people for thousands of years. At its core, it is being in a state of awareness.

Why is it so popular? Most of us are flying on autopilot throughout the day. Our frantic lives leave us on edge, stressed, and wondering where the day went. Mindfulness is a way to counteract those tendencies by connecting with what's going on around us and within us. Short of going on a tech-detox or taking a mental health day, it's one one of the best - and easiest - things you can do for yourself to improve your day.

Like monotasking, mindfulness also improves productivity, which helps explain why the practice of mindfulness has made its way into the corporate culture at numerous companies, like Google, Target and General Mills.

The benefits can be dramatic. In addition to helping to relieve stress and improve productivity, mindfulness helps manage distressing emotions, lowers blood pressure, and improves memory.

Incorporating it into your work day. There are numerous ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Make a clear decision at the start of your workday to be present as best you can. Pause for a few moments to set this intention in your mind.
  • Throughout the day, take a few short breaks to pause and be fully in the moment before taking on the next critical task.
  • When you find yourself running on autopilot or spiraling into stress, stop. Take a three-minute breathing space. Inhale and exhale deeply and focus your attention fully on your breath, and then your body as a whole.

Make the most of mundane tasks by connecting with your senses rather than getting lost in your train of thought

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Sara Anderson
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