Workplace stress is often unavoidable. Being stretched thin over many commitments, bent over the weight of multiple deadlines, and long work hours are common and not given the care and attention they deserve.
As a mindfulness practitioner, these are the things I work hard to eliminate because the negative effects of normalising these practices are astronomical. It’s unrealistic to expect these stressors to melt away overnight, though. Modern life is busy and complicated and can often feel out of our control. The one thing that is always in our control, however, is our reaction and mentality towards the situations we find ourselves in.
As a father and a leader in the workplace, handling my workplace stress is of the utmost importance to me.
Before COVID-19 restrictions were in place, there was one interaction I had with my children that sticks out in my mind and highlights the importance of stress management.
I came home one Friday, put my things away, and immediately went to see what my family was up to. I sat with my children while they were doing their homework and we talked about their day and the big plans they had for the weekend.
While my oldest was choosing between visiting the park or watching a movie, my youngest asked me: “How come you don’t need a rest hour when you come home?”
“What’s a rest hour?” I asked. I was then promptly told how my kid’s classmate has a dad who comes home and needs an hour to rest and unwind, by himself, before joining the family at dinner because he always has headaches.
I then explained to them that I take my rest hour strategically throughout the day, so I can come home and spend more time with them.
These stories are not uncommon. A recent study has found that 50% of people bring their work and workplace stress home with them. Coming home with a headache and needing time to yourself before being available to the other people in your life is understandable but it should also be avoidable.
One highly effective method of managing workplace stress is through mindfulness.
There are many easy mindful coping strategies that have an immediate effect on your stress and overall mood. When you make these exercises a habit, you will be able to establish a mindfulness practice from which you enjoy lasting benefits.
Manage workplace stress by taking short, mindful breaks
Stress often builds up because you don’t have enough time to take breaks during the day. Mindful breaks, however, are usually just a few, short minutes. All you need to do is take deep breaths and take your focus away from work for that time, before jumping back into what you need to do.
The best part about this is that you don’t even need to leave your desk or find a quiet place. Taking even one minute out of your day to consciously connect with your senses is an effective mindfulness exercise.
Maintain awareness and focus while remaining productive
Mindfulness is all about maintaining awareness of both the external world and your internal state of being. Extended mindfulness practices not only help you manage your workplace stress but also guide your self-awareness, boost your productivity and efficiency, and improve your mental and physical health.
Eliminate the multi-tasking myth. Apply yourself completely to one task at a time. You will find that when your focus isn’t divided among a variety of tasks, you will be able to improve the quality of your work, minimise errors, and complete your work more swiftly.
A few minutes of meditation a day
Meditation is intrinsically linked to mindfulness and is one of the most effective ways of enjoying consistent mindfulness benefits.
Meditating for a couple of minutes every day can help you get rid of workplace stress and consequently alleviate your anxiety and improve your sleep. If you work in high-pressure environments, ending each day with some quiet meditation can do wonders for your health and wellbeing.
How The Mindful Leader can help reduce workplace stress
The Mindful Leader brings mindfulness to your workplace through mindful leadership programs and mindful meditation programs that are designed to improve employee engagement and transform the corporate culture of your business.
We leverage the empirically-proven value of mindfulness to effect change that will improve your workplace and reduce the negative impacts of workplace stress on your employees.
To discover the transformative effects of mindfulness in your workplace, speak to my team today.