If your workday is filled with stress and frustration, you aren’t alone. We’ve all had at least a couple of those days where it seemed as though nothing went as planned. The copier broke. You spilled your coffee. Your boss gave you another big project with a close deadline. There’s no question that work can be overwhelming at times.
But when you’re feeling frustrated at work, all hope is not lost. Mindfulness may be the answer you’re looking for, and it’s the current buzzword in the workforce. Mindfulness is essentially the state of being focused on and immersed in the present moment. It’s a kind of meditation that allows you to let go of your deadlines, tasks, and projects for a few moments to take time for yourself and relaxation. I like to think of it as a chance to recharge your batteries or a small escape from the chaos of a workday.
If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering how you can possibly find time for an escape when you can barely time find for lunch. When your to-do list is a mile long and your deadlines are only a few days or hours away, the last thing you want to do is spend time on something other than your work. In fact, Some de-stressing strategies may unintentionally increase your stress if it takes up too much time. After all, the work still exists and you still have to complete it, which takes time. Strategies to reduce your stress shouldn’t make it harder to find the time to complete your work; they should make it easier.
Here’s the thing about Mindfulness, though. It doesn’t take out that much time from your day. That is the key that makes this exercise so effective in combating the frustrations and stress of a chaotic workday. You can reduce your stress and increase your cognitive function with enough time to complete your remaining work.
So, how exactly do you practice mindfulness? While there are different tips and tricks, practicing mindfulness can be as simple as taking a five to ten minute break to complete deep breathing exercises. There are plenty of video resources online that will guide you through the breathing, but the exercises allow you to let go of everything on your plate and reach a state of relaxation. You focus on the physical state of your body and the emotional state of your mind, allowing you to clear your mind and let go of overwhelming stress. Doing so recharges you and enables you to start your projects and work assignments with a fresh attitude. Starting and ending your day with breathing exercises can be immensely helpful in keeping the frustration from work in check.
Aside from breathing exercises, simply taking small breaks throughout the day can help with productivity. Stepping away from your work, especially if you are feeling stuck, can give you new clarity with the task at hand. Even if you don’t complete any breathing exercises, you are still practicing mindfulness by focusing on your mind and body without worrying about work for a few minutes.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, don’t be afraid to take a minute or two to yourself to practice mindfulness. Its benefits are well worth the few minutes lost, and you’ll return to your desk feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the next task.