In a fast-paced, technology-driven world that seemingly never sleeps, it is difficult to stay present (let alone sane!). Our minds easily wonder from thought to thought as we jump from task to task throughout the workday. We are constantly bombarded with emails, text messages, phone calls and social media posts, which makes it easy to feel overwhelmed and overworked.
MBB Agency is committed to providing our employees with a positive work/life balance. Having a positive work/life balance is more than just having summer hours and a short commute. It’s allowing our employees time to focus on their wellness and proving them with a healthy work environment.
And that is why we brought in Sarah Buchanan from Indulge to talk mindfulness in the workplace. Yes, physical fitness is important, but we cannot forget about our mental health as well. What is mindfulness? Simply put, it is the practice of being aware and conscious. Mindfulness helps reduce the flight or fight response, which is created by stress. The workday can bring countless stressors from tight deadlines to managing expectations to back-to-back meetings. We need a way to manage the stress, which is where mindfulness comes in.
Sarah provided us with four tools to enhance mindfulness:
- Breath – This seems simple enough, right? And, yet, Sarah calls it “the most magical tool for mindfulness.” Taking three deep belly breaths helps us neutralize energy and prevents us from acting in the moment. Often in an office environment, it is easy to carry energy, both negative and positive, from one meeting to another. Taking belly breaths between meetings prevents our emotions from dictating our actions and helps us be present regardless of the situation.
- Manage your thoughts – The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day! That is 40 thoughts per minute, almost 1 per second. It is easy to let your thoughts run wild and interrupt your work. By writing down our thoughts, we are able to both manage those thoughts and create extra space in our heads. Again, allowing us to be more present and intentional in our actions.
- Practice gratitude – Being grateful isn’t always easy, but when we make an effort to change our perception of people, it can have a huge impact on our working relationships. Sarah recommends taking note of what your co-workers are doing well and recognizing them for it, even when it is hard to do so. Also, try to write down three things you are grateful for everyday. Over time, this practice will not only get easier but become part of your daily routine.
- Remember, everything is a practice – Sarah encourages us to eliminate the stress of “I can’t do it” by knowing that everything takes time. We are not going to be mindful and present every moment of everyday. In fact, it takes a lot of practice to be mindful. Just like it takes time and practice to reach our goals.
Lastly, Sarah taught us the importance of meditation. “In order to evolve and grow, we must do things we’ve never done before,” Sarah said. For many of us, meditating was something we had never done before. So, we closed our eyes, took our deep breaths and found our Zen. Was it a little awkward meditating with our co-workers? Sure! But was it beneficial? Absolutely!