Mindfulness techniques to manage the impact on your wellbeing
Mindfulness involves making a special effort to give your full attention to what is happening in the present moment – to what’s happening in your body, your mind or your surroundings, in a non-judgmental way.
Mindfulness describes a way of approaching our thoughts and feelings so that we become more aware of them and react differently to them.
Mindfulness doesn’t immediately control, remove or fix unpleasant thoughts or feelings but it aims to develop skills to place you in a better position to break free or not ‘buy into’ these unhelpful habits that are causing distress and preventing positive action.
ABC of Mindfulness
|Pausing and recognising the distraction or thought.||Breathing deeply and reflecting on your options||Choosing mindfully how you want to handle the distraction or thought|
Some tips on how to commit to a regular mindfulness practice in work
Find the right motivation and intention
If you are experiencing a busy day at work or just don’t feel like practicing mindfulness, it might help to remind yourself of the benefits of mindfulness and why we do it. If you have done mindfulness in work before, remind yourself how it made you feel afterwards.
Find the right time and timing
Just as each practice will be different, the length of time for your practice can vary as well, particularly when you are very busy in work or when you have had challenging day. Some days you may need only a few minutes, and other times you may want to stick with it for a bit longer to make sure you have a rewarding experience.
Find the right spot and posture
It’s important to feel safe and secure, wherever you decide to practice. That may be on a cushion on the floor, in your office chair at work, or even sitting in your car in traffic. You will benefit from finding a comfortable and familiar spot for your regular practice, but there’s no harm in modifying your seat or posture if circumstances require it!
Find the right routine and stick to it!
Although the length, location, and posture of your practice can and will change depending on your situation, it’s best to make a minimum commitment when it comes to frequency. Whether practicing once a day works best for you, or multiple times a day, find a routine that you will be able to stick to in the long-term. For example, every day at lunchtime you will aim to practice mindfulness away from your desk or wherever you feel comfortable.
Ideas for practicing mindfulness in the workplace
Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
Can be done anywhere and at whatever pace you like, for example during your lunchbreak. Take time to notice and observe the environment around you. Tune into what’s going on around you and notice the sounds that drift in. Focus on your movement and your walking rhythm.
Government advice is that we wash our hands more often. Every time we wash our hands we could be doing so more mindfully. For example, instead of renditions of ‘happy birthday’ we could take time to notice the sensations of the warm water and the slippery soap.
What did you have for breakfast / lunch? How quickly did you eat it? Did you savour it or were you in a rush?
Mindfulness guided practice
There are many Mindfulness tools available:
- Headspace are currently offering some free sessions under the heading “weathering the storm” to help support people through this particular time
- Oxford Mindfulness Centre
- AWARE NI
- Balance App
- Mindfulness NHS
- Mental Health Foundation
Other Support available
The NICS provides access to a range of support. Find out more about the support on offer.
NICSHR L&D has developed a variety of digital training products designed to help staff look after their own stress levels, and for line managers to support staff who may be experiencing stress related issues.
Find out more about what courses are available.