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Mindfulness and why it matters in the work place

Modern life is so busy: busy at work, busy organising the family, busy worrying about money – the list goes on. We’re all guilty of saying ‘I don’t know where this week went’ and genuinely, we’ve missed most of what has happened because we’ve been so busy just trying to get through each day’s events.

We all experience periods in our lives that are busier than others, but by allowing events to take control, we place enormous stresses upon our physical and mental well-being. This self-induced pressure will undoubtedly colour our judgements affecting our thoughts and feelings, influencing the way we cope with everyday events. Small irritations become mountainous. As the workplace can be one of the most pressurised and emotionally charged areas of our lives, it is likely any stress-induced explosion is going to happen there.

One of the methods of avoiding this kind of never-ending stress and a potentially damaging explosive outcome is to employ ‘mindfulness’. But what is ‘mindfulness’?

Mindfulness“the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment”.

In everyday terms, mindfulness is learning to slow yourself down. Rather than having one foot in the ‘now’ and the other foot worrying about getting the kids to swimming on time, you focus all your energy and senses on dealing with the present moment. It allows us to start taking notice of the little things and re-discover the elements in life that makes us smile; the smell of the fresh coffee, the sunshine on the daisies, the way the dog’s ears flop through the long grass on the morning walk.

At work it means we are better able to evaluate our thoughts and emotions and deal with situations in a less reactive way. We become more aware of those around us and can pick up on tell-tale signs of stress or anxiety in ourselves and our colleagues. Our reaction becomes less reactive and more proactive. Not only can this help to defuse a potential pressure point, but it also allows us to feel more in control. So rather than attempting to micromanage every aspect of your life at all times of the day and night, try practising mindfulness; live in the present, enjoy the moment and truly take back the reins!

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

–           Lao Tzu, philosopher & poet, founder of Taoism.

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