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Mental Health Awareness Week – Mindfulness at Work

14th May 2019

It's day two of mental health awareness week and our focus today is about practical mindfulness at work. There are four aspects of mindfulness which we can integrate into our working life:

Being Present

Living in the present moment and enjoying that moment to its full capacity – remember we only get this moment once so we really need to be present in it. So often we are rushing towards the future and our mind is ahead, when actually we need to apply the brakes on our journey through life and remember that it is a journey… so enjoy the journey, stop see the view, take in the smells, appreciate what you have and embrace every moment. Psychological distress tends to occur when we are living in the past or future, so bring your mind to the now.  Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths at every opportunity, start, mid, end of your working day and when you need to regain focus. This will bring in energy to your body and help you focus on the present moment.

Concentration

In mindfulness practice we begin to learn how to maintain our attention on a single thing for a chosen period of time. Focus on one aspect of work at a time rather than multi-tasking – this will produce speedier results and better quality. We waste so much time bringing our minds back to a piece of work we were working on after our attention has been taken elsewhere. Be kind to yourself and, if your work allows, be firm with others when you are in a focus period (without interruptions).

Acceptance / Non Aversion

Exploring what happens when we accept things as they are. Focus on what is inside your control and if action is required to improve a situation, identify what needs to be done. Take your focus away from trying to control what is outside your control, this is wasted energy.

Observing 

Mindfulness invites us to develop our capacity to position ourselves as an observer or witness of our own mind - to develop a ‘helicopter’ or ‘giraffe’ perspective on ourselves. Take a breath and step back from a situation to obtain a different perspective. Close your eyes and picture yourself stepping away from the situation, as you observe the situation ask yourself, what is the best solution in the situation – space helps us to come up with the answers.