Whether you’ve joined the #WFH group, commute back and forth (hopefully not in LA traffic), or have the privilege of being a hybrid worker, this last year our workplace environment has taken a major 180. After spending so much time alone, taking zoom calls from the comfort of your couch (most definitely in PJs) it’s been a difficult transition to head back to “the office”, not only the environment, but the workload seems to be a bit bigger than we remember. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly 40% of Americans feel that the stress of the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health. Not only does stress negatively impact our mental health, but also our physical. It increases inflammation and can lead to chronic diseases of the brain and heart. To help you prevent this, we’re diving head first into the art of mindfulness and how you can implement it into your daily life.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS AND WHY IS IT SUCH A BUZZWORD?
Throughout the pandemic, more and more of us turned to spirituality. Nearly three in ten US adults say the outbreak has boosted their religious faith, most likely to cope with the loneliness that presented itself. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present in your mind and body.
Now that we’ve covered a basic definition of mindfulness and why it’s been on the rise lately, you may be thinking - “how do I know if I need to be more mindful?”
5 SIGNS YOU MAY NEED TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS:
- You’ve developed social anxiety during the pandemic and find it extremely difficult to put yourself out there.
- You’re always tired even when you’re sleeping 8-10 hours per night.
- You tend to go to bed after midnight or watch TV until you pass out because you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts.
- You keep procrastinating at work and leave small tasks to the last minute.
- You don’t take constructive criticism very well and feel like your family, co-workers and bosses are out to get you.
If you’ve checked any of these boxes, this is for you. Developing a mindfulness practice is one of the greatest things you can do for your mental and physical health. It’s the 21st Century, with the rapid updates in technology ruining our attention spans one TikTok at a time, mindfulness is a sought after tool in the workplace when it comes to recruitment. Meditation DOES pay off!
6 WAYS YOU CAN PRACTICE MINDFULNESS IN THE WORKPLACE:
No matter what your office may look like, use one of these tips to begin your mindfulness practice.
- Download Insight Timer: The past five years have seen an explosion of apps and programs for meditation and yoga: Shine, Headspace, Yoga Ed. and Calm. We’ve tried them all and the gold medal goes to insight timer. We love insight timer because it has the largest library of free meditations out of any app. We recommend doing a meditation before you head to work, or as a mid-day pick me up!
- No More Multitasking: The definition of mindfulness is being fully present in where you are and what you’re doing – when you have 4 small tasks on the go you think you’re getting more done, but the reality is that’s only the case…for 2.5% of the population. Studies show that when our brain is constantly switching gears to bounce back and forth between complex tasks we become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake.
- Set Up Positive Reminders: The word “mindful” means to remember. Often times when we set goals for ourselves (ie. Be more mindful) we forget after 2-3 weeks. Setting up encouraging affirmations as your lock screen, or as a notification on your phone will remind you to take a deep breath and be consciously present. Grab a list of our 22 favorite affirmations here.
- Turn Off Social Media Notifications: When we get a notification, our brains release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. And since our brains crave dopamine, we’re wired to find fast fixes of it, like those from notifications, so we’ll unconsciously keep repeating those behaviors. The notifications make us feel like we need to “act now” causing us to multi-task throughout the day. As we learned up above, constantly switching gears to bounce back and forth between complex tasks makes us way less efficient. Turn those app notifications off and only keep your most important dates (and affirmations of course!)
- Take a Walking Meditation During Lunch: For the rookie and the vets. Walking meditations are the perfect combination for when you don't feel like sitting down, but also know you need to re-center. Not only are there physical benefits of walking in itself but mindful walking can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, create feelings of wellbeing, provide better sleep, improve mood and manage stress. Download insight timer and try a walking meditation on your next lunch break.
- Adopt a Growth Mindset: One of the signs you may need a mindfulness practice is “your ability to take constructive criticism turns you into a victim”. This one may ruffle some feathers but needs to be said. When you adopt a growth mindset at work, you don’t mind getting negative feedback because you know its your chance to discover something new. You don’t mind taking on new responsibilities because you’re curious about how you’ll handle them. You expect and move towards challenges, seeing them as opportunities for inner growth vs turning them down because you don’t think you’re good enough. A growth mindset is believing that you can improve and grow with experience and discovering new things about yourself and others.
It’s important to remember that creating a mindfulness practice is an ongoing process that does not end. You will always be evolving, changing, and going through life transitions – big or small, planned or unplanned. All of these events will be opportunities for you to practice your response instead of unconsciously reacting.
If you’re looking for for more tips on mindfulness or developing a spiritual practice join the community over on Instagram at @mymagicmornings.
Pssst…Join our weekly newsletter here for 10% your first purchase!
Love & Magic,
The Magic Team