How to Develop Mindfulness in the Workplace Training
Much of what people understand as “mindfulness” or mindfulness at work has been mis-understood. From my thirty-three years’ experience as a meditation “mindful” practitioner, who was brought up Buddhist I can assure you that a lot of “being mindful at work” may help a but the core practice, if understood and incorporated into your daily routine will help with enjoying your work and being better able to be objective in stressful situations as well as relax at your desk.
There are many different interpretations of the term “mindfulness”, as it derives from a Pali term that is transliterated into English. Without getting into the nitty gritty of interpretation, meaning and intention of the phrase my view is that “mindfulness” is the state of mind that derives from practicing meditation or some other exercises, it is a kind of relaxed concentration and objectivity.
This of course poses the question; how do we relax while sitting or standing at a desk? Our bodies are not designed to sit at desks, in fact sitting in chairs causes a lot of our modern day back problems. Even the position of our arms and hands while we are sitting at a desk is basically the opposite to the way they naturally are in a relaxed state.
Most of us are completely un-accustomed to switching off our minds, in fact mindfulness is not switching off our minds but switching them on, but most of us are so “in our heads” particularly in the western world that to ask one’s mind to simply concentrate on one thing while letting all the other thoughts arise is quite a challenge for many!
Add this to the issue that trying to incorporate mindfulness at work or more to the point – concentrate on one thing while relaxing – while you are doing what you do for many hours a day, sitting at a desk or repetitive movements, may only compound the problem!
Static workplace mindfulness – meaning simply sitting at a desk while meditating can be effective for some, but we are still creating an unnatural structure and position for our bodies; you can very easily slump and further create unhealthy structure. In addition to this, how do we relax muscles tendons and joints that are constantly being put in the wrong place while the tension of work can also increase the muscle tension?
The way to relax muscles, essentially the way to incorporate mindfulness at work, relax tendons, joints and even release tension around bone structures such as your spine – crucial for health – is to gently exercise your joints while you are at your desk, and a few easy sequences that just take a few minutes while standing up.
If you can incorporate being aware of your body while you are doing these exercises, especially the joint you are exercising, you will automatically go a long way to incorporating mindfulness into your workspace, by just being aware. What is more, you will have removed your awareness from all the stressful wasteful thinking and tuned into your body, by-passing the need to consciously stop thinking!
This will go a long way to helping you incorporate mindfulness at work, we can also help with tuning into the moment, being aware of thoughts and feelings and practicing highly effective relaxation techniques recommended by best-selling Harvard Doctors.
Here at Mindful Movement, we practice a set of workplace mindfulness exercises that will enable you to relax, concentrate and tune into your body, mind, and emotions, while improving your effectiveness during your working day.
Mindful Movement is the perfect antidote for those who wish to relax but find it hard to switch off the mind or relax using traditional non-moving mindfulness techniques.
Contact Caspar here for a demo and consultation…