All these simple practices will make you more focused, less tense, more responsive to other’s needs, calmer, peaceful and more productive.
- 1. Set a daily intention
Every morning set yourself an intention for the day, such as be calm, watch your breath, don’t get angry, be patient, take more short breaks and so on. Keep reminding yourself of your intention throughout the day. You don’t need to change the intention every morning. Work on the most important thing you want to change about yourself first.
- 2. Take breaks regularly
Take short breaks – no more than 3 or 4 minutes. Get a drink of water, walk around the office (be don’t stop to gossip), go out of the office for a moment, do some mindful movements, and then return with a feeling of being refreshed.
- Do a body scan – lightly close your eyes and start at the top of your head and work down your body to your toes. Only spend 5 seconds on each area. If you feel some tension, breathe away the tension on the out breath and relax.
- Check in with your feelings, are they pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Don’t judge them or try to change them, just become aware of them and accept you are feeling this way. Tell yourself, ‘It is ok to feel the way I am feeling.’.
- Look at your thoughts, are they positive or negative. Again, don’t judge or try to change them, just accept them. If you are positive, embrace those thoughts. If you are negative, take a slow, deep breath and breathe out the negativity.
Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, hold the breath for 6 seconds and then slowly release the air out through your mouth. Do this three times and make sure you keep your focus on each part of the breath.
Sit at your desk and lightly close your eyes. listen to all the sounds in the office for 30 seconds. Now, what can you smell, try to smell as many different smells as you can. Then, open your eyes and look closely at a picture on the wall (but not on your screen or mobile). All these practices will bring you back to the present moment and will make you more focused. But don’t judge or criticise what you see, hear or smell, just accept it.
Focus on what is stressing you, then take a deep breath in through your nose, and as you breathe out through your mouth imagine you are breathing the stress away. When you breathe out, do it with a sigh. Do this exercise 3 or 4 times.
Our brains are not built to do multi tasks. We can only focus on one thing at a time. If you are trying to do 2 or 3 things at once, you are not giving them your full attention and you are putting your brain under untold pressure and stress. Do one task at a time and you will be more productive, less stressed and happier with your job.
Take a few moments out of your work day to think about 3 things you are grateful for. This will release Dopamine into your brain, which is essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system, and will make you feel relaxed, happy and focused.
If you are feeling stressed, lightly close your eyes and visualise what it would feel like not to be stressed. You can do this for anger, impatience, intolerance, sadness and any other destructive emotions.
When you have turned off your computer and are ready to go, take a moment to reflect back over the day. Note the things that have worked well for you and be grateful. Also, note the things that did not work so well, and encourage yourself to try something different next time. Do some mindful movement exercises while sitting at your desk. Now, you are ready to go home!
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