How to Make Your Work Breaks Mindful

There is a compelling reason big companies like Google and Ford have institutionalized mindfulness. Above all, mindfulness keeps people focused on their tasks and helps them treat problems with an open mind. Mindful also plays a central role in team dynamics, as it fosters a more conflict-averse mindset that encourages “present-focused attention, non-judgmental processing, and respectful communication.” 

In addition, mindfulness can make you more productive and less prone to being in disagreements with the people around you. You don’t have to do anything special to practice mindfulness, neither will you need to invest lots of time for it. In fact, you can be mindful even when you take breaks from work.

5 tips to help conquer burnout during the workday:

1. Leave your workstation

There are plenty of reasons to step away from your workstation, whether at work or at home. A Pain-Free Working article on the benefits of not eating at your desk details how your attention is divided between eating and working when you don’t step away for your midday meal. This can result in a decrease both in the quality of your work and in your productivity. You’ll stress yourself out more, too, as you’re not giving yourself some much-deserved me-time to shut-off – even for just a little while. When you’re stressed and distracted, being mindful becomes near-impossible.

2. Eat clean

For your breaks, make it a point to keep eating clean — a tip we discussed in detail in our ‘Eat Clean, 8 Simple Rules’ post. As much as possible, eat “real” food that is organic and has less to no sugar. Aside from being good for your health, eating clean also requires mindful eating. A HelpGuide feature on mindful eating notes that this practice requires you to have an “in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body,” thus giving you a deeper appreciation of them and how they impact you.

3. Meditate!

Meditation is a component of mindfulness, with Mindful Work author David Gelles describing it as a way to train the mind. This practice allows you to be “at the moment” while keeping your mind from drifting aimlessly and thinking about the past, your worries, and all sorts of negative thoughts. Fortunately, you can do this during your breaks, as it takes only a few minutes to focus on the present and shut off from the stresses of work and of life. A way to do this, says Gelles, is to zone in on your physical sensations, feelings, and thoughts so you can understand and appreciate them better.

4. Go for a walk

Walking alone is a great way to meditate, as you’re left on your own and away from work. While walking, make sure to feel every step, focusing on how your feet touch the ground, as well as the pressure points of each step – how the balls of your feet push off the ground, and how your heels land. Subsequently, you can use these walks to take stock of your feelings, regardless if they are positive or negative.

5. Stretch

MobileMonkey CEO Larry Kim explains that mindfulness necessitates an awareness of the physical, too, apart from the mental. An easy and effective way to do this is by stretching during breaks, or as often as necessary. While doing so, make sure to feel every stretch and focus on aching or tight body parts. In this way, you get to meditate at work and know which body parts need more of your care later on.

In conclusion, it pays to be mindful, as it can help you in ways that grow your business – through improved problem solving, better team dynamics, and respectful communication. The best part is that being mindful doesn’t need drastic changes in the way you approach other work. Just do the above tips and you will soon be reaping the rewards of mindfulness.

 Image credit: Pexels

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