Seven Steps to Being More Mindful at Work

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The practice of mindfulness is not only beneficial to mental and physical health, but also increases productivity thanks to improved concentration and energy. Since making meditation and mindfulness habits in my everyday life, I have enjoyed coming into work each day, use my time more efficiently and have been able to work better.

Being mindful improves focus and awareness, so following these tips can result in being much more creative and effective in the workplace.

1. Be Present

Focusing on one assignment or project at a time is crucial to being mindful in the workplace. When your attention shifts from one distraction to another, it’s important to remember to go back to where you left off and become present in the task at hand.

2. Make Lists

Start your day with a list of “to-dos” to accomplish. Working on one project at a time will help you increase productivity and stay organized. Re-prioritize your list throughout the day if necessary.

3. Mindful Reminders

Write cheerleading statements on post-it note and stick them on your desk. These simple reminders will motivate you and help to stay in the moment. Don’t know how to get started? Begin with simple statements such as “This is only temporary” or “I can do it!”

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4. Take a Breather

Step away from the desk and enjoy a walk around the neighborhood or short break to re-group. Give yourself time and space to re-energize throughout your day to improve concentration and overall productivity. I always take a few minutes during lunch to grab a coffee, walk down to the harbor or take photos of downtown Boston. Enjoy the beauty around you!

5. Radical Acceptance

This is one of my favorite DBT skills.  Radical acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like everyone or each situation, but it does mean you must accept things for how they are. While you don’t have to agree with someone, it’s important to validate them by acknowledging their thoughts or opinions.

6. Gratitude

Interrupt anxiety with gratitude! It’s so easy to fall into a negative mindset when something doesn’t go your way. Instead of focusing on your triggers, shift your focus to your blessings. Remember: you’re working, you’re fulfilling a purpose, and you’re needed. Try and focus on the positives and have gratitude for your position, opportunity, coworkers or work output.

7. Mindfulness Exercises

There are a variety of mindfulness exercises you can do at your desk to keep yourself balanced throughout your day. The Harvard Business Review gives tips and a guided breathing exercise to keep you present. According to HBR, “Mindfulness helps increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and even enhances creativity.”

Learn more about mindfulness at work at Mindful.org.

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Enjoying my lunchtime stroll!

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Making peace your natural state

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It’s a Monday morning. The alarm goes off, you make a coffee, hop in the shower, get ready for work and head out the door. Maybe your car is covered in snow, maybe the bus is late, maybe it’s pouring rain. Whatever the case, you’re running behind and you’re irritated. You just wish you could go back home, take off your annoying work clothes and get into bed.

My mornings used to look like this- but not today.

I woke up around 6AM and relaxed for a few minutes. I turned on some music, made my coffee and got in the shower. I enjoyed the sunrise, meditated and enjoyed some morning reading.

I soaked in the moments. I gave myself time. Above all, I enjoyed my morning.

Starting the day off on the right foot is the first step to living in a peaceful state. It sets the mood and begins to create healthier habits, too. Morning rituals have been imperative to my overall happiness, productivity and serenity.

Meditation has also helped me immensely through my journey to become more mindful- I have tried a few different apps, Calm being my favorite (I enjoy “7 Days of Calm,” “Body Scan” and  the”Loving-Kindness” meditations).

I also started to wonder what the benefit of rushing is. I certainly perform better at work when I am calm, balanced, and in a positive mood. Sure, it can make sense logistically to hurry when you’re running behind- but is it worth it? When I was late on Friday, the entire “false crisis” of a late bus was easily remedied by informing my boss of the MBTA delay- not reacting to the situation through a temper tantrum or anxiety attack.

Every day depends on your attitude- whether you want to live in a rush or a peaceful state. When you’re aware of your surroundings and you enjoy the moment, you’ll be surprised at how pleasant your day can be.

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Good vibes only- all day, every day.

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What’s holding you back?

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Today I started my Sunday with coffee, conversation and a dose of Gabby Bernstein. She has been an inspiration to me through her spiritual teachings and explanations of energy, the universe and overall perspective.

Gabby put on a free New Year Breakthrough webinar to start 2017 off on the right foot, but more importantly, to help us make permanent changes to help manifest the amazing year we want to live.

She explained how the only New Year’s Resolution you need is to discover the root of the behavior or bad habit you want to change– and work on changing that behavior or attitude. Without acknowledging the “why” to the bad behavior, it’s impossible to consistently make improvements and change.

Gabby explained the five steps to healing, ultimately resulting in a true change in both your thoughts and behaviors. I took notes of what my own attitudes and behaviors were while she went through the steps:

1- What is the core belief or wound behind the bad habit?

Abandonment and rejection.

2- Look closely at the behavior behind the feeling or habit. What are your bad behaviors?

Since I’m afraid of abandonment and rejection, I find myself pushing people away, quitting activities or jobs, procrastinating, treating my body poorly and judging myself or others. Since I have these fears, I haven’t 1) reached my full potential 2) developed a meaningful romantic relationship or 3) found my niche in the workplace.

3- Become willing to heal.

In order to make changes, you first have to want it and be willing. If I consider asking for guidance, I’m taking a crucial step in radical self-forgiveness, healing and change. Letting go of ego, a defense mechanism for fear, is a huge part of my path to recovery- I have to let the negative thoughts go. I continue to run to avoid failure, which is blocking my path to healing.

4- Tapping method- tap on the struggle or behavior.

Gabby explained the Tapping Method, which is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Doing a conscious “tapping” on our body will help to focus our energy on our current stress and acknowledge our willingness and capability to change.

More here:

5- Forgive who we were and accept who we are today!

Sure, 2016 was rough- but it’s a brand new year! We must remember that we have to be forgiving of ourselves, know that we did the best we could for the situation that was handed to us, and act differently in the future.

We must remember it is safe to let go of the past and to give it over. If we carry resentments today, we can’t receive the gifts of tomorrow.

“I forgive myself, I accept myself, I release who I used to be. I am new.” -Gabby Bernstein

In case you missed it, you can still check out Gabby’s webinar today at 4PM EST, 10PM EST or get a full replay.

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