According to the Mental Health Foundation 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year and 1 in 5 people will take the day off work due to stress. The topic of mindfulness is a growing trend in the workplace. Mindfulness techniques help to reduce stress and get you out the rut of negative thinking. Mindfulness is about practicing momentary awareness and focusing your attention on the present. Becoming aware of your feelings and recognising the destructive patterns that run away with your mind. Introducing mindfulness techniques can help individuals navigate through a busy day in a calmer and more considered manner. Over the past few years clients have requested mindfulness sessions to help team bonding dynamics and boost morale.
Here are some simple steps for practicing mindfulness:
Focus on breathing: Ensure your feet are flat on the floor and spend a few minutes doing nothing at all, just focusing on breathing slowly in and out. Focus on your breathing technique and feel the air travel down your windpipe and through to your lungs and feel your lungs push the air when breathing out. Don't worry too much if your focus shifts back to your thoughts, just continue to focus on breathing techniques. Don't think about much else but immersing yourself but in the motion or act of breathing.
Go for a walk in the fresh air: Pay attention to every step when walking and more importantly focus on the sensation of your surroundings. If your attention shifts towards negative thoughts then move your focus on walking harder and taking in the cool breeze and sunshine. Focusing on the simplicity of nature and walking means you begin to switch off from the never ending stream of thoughts that dominate your attention.
Interrupting the stress cycle: If you're in the midst of a work deadline, take a moment out of what you're doing and think about practicing quick stress boosting techniques. This includes practicing breathing or going for a short walk and even a few minutes of time can quiet the mind and reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety, it will help you to look at things in a more positive light.
We all experience moments of stress in the workplace and when combined with toxic emotions it can negatively impact your work it can impact your personal life. Ultimately, mindfulness is a journey to reprogramming your mind, to think in healthier and less stressful ways and observe feelings without self-criticism. More importantly group mindfulness sessions helps you share experiences with others in the workplace and can help boost morale amongst your team. Mindfulness meditation supports mental health and wellbeing in all aspects of work life balance and a clear free mind helps to contribute to improved concentration and a better night's sleep.
At Off Limits we offer a number of mindfulness team building activities to tackle stress and anxiety in the workplace and to inspire delegates to think more positively. The Health in Mind class in particular focuses on awareness, the hands on sessions explores music, movement, talking, listening, muscle relaxation and mind-body association. Our stress buster helps to control tension and manage stress levels, the classes combine yoga, meditation as well as Tai-Chi. More importantly the activities teach participants from breathing, laughter to movement and touch. Each Mindfulness event is completely unique to client needs and the mindfulness activities vary with each session. The events include Balanced Bites, Bollywood Boost, Comedy Class, Smoothie Making, Stress Buster Sessions and The Art of Being Arty.
Have you tried any mindfulness classes? Have they had a positive impact on improving mindfulness in the workplace? We'd love to hear from you on Linkedin or Twitter.