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Mindfulness in the Workplace

  • Publish Date: Posted over 5 years ago
  • Author:by VANRATH

Finding a mindfulness program that will fit well within your organisation may seem a little daunting at the outset, but there are so many simple and easy to implement activities that you begin with. Every program is different but here are our top 5 tips for mindfulness in the workplace:

  1. Dedicate time:
    Have your employees choose a time in the workday where they take between five and ten minutes to themselves. In this time they can take a walk, stretch their legs, raise their arms – anything that gets them moving. For those already on their feet during a workday, have them take a seat in a quiet area where they can close their eyes and turn off for five minutes. Focusing on deep breathing and clearing the mind, employees will return to work refreshed and revitalised.

  2. Mindful Seeing:
    This one is simple and requires nothing more than a window with a view of the outdoors. Have your employees take time to look out a window. The aim here is for them to stop applying labels such as ‘bird’ or ‘fence’ and start focusing more on colours, textures and patterns. Look for movement rather than objects, e.g. a breeze blowing leaves and grass. Being observant and aware will give your employee’s mind a break from the absence of visual stimuli that many often have during working hours.

  3. Sensory Awareness:
    Again, for this exercise have your employee take five to ten minutes away from their desk. This can be done while walking/moving or sitting. To start with have your employee focus on five things they can see around them – picking things they wouldn’t normally notice such as a shadow or a crack in a wall. Next, ask them to focus on four things they can feel. This can be anything from a breeze to the texture of clothing. Then ask your employee to listen for three sounds – what can they hear when they step outside of the office? Smell is the forth sense to focus on so ask them to identify two smells that they normally wouldn’t notice, pleasant or unpleasant! And finally, ask your employee what they can taste. They can eat or drink something to trigger a taste, chew some gum or maybe just search the air for a taste. Focusing on the five senses over a short space of time can be enough to reawaken the mind.

  4. Breathing Space:
    This is another short exercise that works really well for busy employees who maybe don’t have ten minutes to dedicate every day. This exercise consists of three simple steps. Have you employee step away from their desk – this can be done sitting or moving and will take a total of 3 minutes. For the first minute, they need to ask themselves the question ‘how am I doing?’ and spend that minute focusing on their thoughts, feelings and any sensations that this question arises. For the second minute, get your employee to focus on and have an awareness of their breathing for the full minute. Finally, for the last minute, your employee needs to focus all of their attention on their breathing. Feeling the in’s and out’s and how they are affecting the rest of their body. This short break will allow them to return to their desk with renewed focus.

  5. Total focus:
    This one is again quite simple and can be completed anywhere. The idea here is to focus your employees mind on one thought and stop any and all distractions. Ask your employee to close their eyes and count to ten slowly. If their concentration wanders even a little bit before they get to ten, they must start again until they are totally focused on the task at hand. This is another short exercise that will reawaken your employees mind and allow them to return to work reinvigorated.

Mindfulness within the workplace is such a popular topic at present that we’ve decided to take a deeper look at the processes involved in setting up such a program. While every business and organisation that adopts a mindfulness program will look at one that most fits the needs of their business, there are steps you can take in the planning stages to ensure a greater rate of success and buy in from employees.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any recruitment needs your organisation may have, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 028 9033 0250 or email me at belfast@vanrath.com