Mindfulness is a stress-buster that’s becoming more popular, and for good reason. Practicing mindfulness in your day to day life can help you be more relaxed, happy, and kind.
For many, their work-life can be a source of stress. It doesn't need to be and for those fortunate enough, work is something that brings joy.
Whether it's work or other things in your life that cause you stress, it's important you do your best to reduce the effects of stress. Stress can kill. That’s no overstatement — it’s true. Mounting stress increases your blood pressure and releases cortisol into your bloodstream. You can become more prone to heart attacks and strokes. But you don’t have to let chronic stress defeat you.
Here are tips for being mindful during your workday, whether you're currently working from home or in the office, and have some decorative authority over your workspace.
Be in the Moment
Easier said than done. Mindfulness is defined as "maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens." It sounds simple, but it’s more than just pushing all distractions away and focusing on the project or task in front of you. You might consider getting expert advice on the therapeutic technique and how to do it right.
A regular meditation practice can increase your ability to practice mindfulness during your work life. If you practice mindfulness correctly, it reduces work-life conflict, increases focus and concentration, and increases job satisfaction.
Plants and greenery in your workspace if you're able to add them, are more than decoration. Research shows green space is good for mental health. In fact, just being in a green space can put you in a more mindful place. Of course, some plants fare better indoors than others.
Looking after wilting, brown indoor plants might become another frustrating distraction. Others are more resilient even if you haven't had a green thumb in the past, and flourish most spaces. Some of the more popular plants for indoor spaces include money trees, philodendrons, peace lilies, and succulents. Potted plants freshen the air and lower stress and anxiety in the workplace — and that’s good for your blood pressure and your peace of mind.
Exercise Body and Soul
Any kind of exercise that gets your heart rate up, even walking, helps you stay focused. But some forms of exercise incorporate mindfulness and connection with breath.
Yoga is a perfect example, and has endless benefits for the body and mind. A good yoga teacher reminds you to be aware of your breath and how you feel in any given moment. It's easier to get centered during yoga class, and you can take the mental benefits into the office with you.
Also, take a closer look at the group exercise offerings. Meditation and mindfulness are also becoming more popular, and so are classes that bring HIIT or barre together with mindfulness techniques.
Objects with healing energies can help you stay calm and in the moment. That includes green living things, but also items such as healing crystals, Himalayan salt lamps, or feng shui elements like a fish tank. Throughout time, and across cultures, humans have used items like worry beads or totems to stay focused and decrease stress.
If you're feeling chronic stress at the office or during your workday, or emotional exhaustion, display cynicism or even reduced efficiency, add some meaningful and beneficial decoration. Anything that reminds you to lowers stress and gets you back on track.
Research shows that mindfulness could actually help prevent burnout. Your mental and physical health are too important to ignore. It’s well worth the time and energy to find things that help you reduce stress in your workspace. Your body will thank you!
By Jayce Lambert
Jayce Lambert, a former professional dancer, is now a physical therapist and yoga instructor who advocates for wellness for people of all abilities.
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