By: Nina Samuel-Camps, Client Director, OgilvyOne
With our ‘always on work culture’, the need to bring a sense of balance to our lives and to our thoughts is more important now than ever. This is where mindfulness comes in.
There has been much press coverage about the benefits of mindfulness recently - whether it’s the mindfulness sessions held at Google by a monk, apps such as Head Space and Buddify which help you practice mindfulness any time, or the surge in popularity of silent meditation retreats – the need to be mindful and all it promises is firmly front of mind for many.
That leads me to the burning question: what does mindfulness actually mean? It's essentially about being fully present and focused in the moment.
What are the benefits of bringing mindfulness into the workplace? It’s scientifically proven to decrease stress levels while improving focus and clarity, listening and decision-making skills, and overall wellbeing.
Perhaps most importantly from a management perspective, mindfulness gives employees permission to think. Mindfulness is the essence of engagement. So being fully present — and allowing your team to be fully in the moment — will reap rewards on a personal and professional level.
How can we all be mindful? See my 3 super simple tips on how to weave mindfulness into your day below:
1.) Practice breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly
Notice how your lungs feel when you fill them up to their full capacity, watch your shoulders drop as you exhale. Bring complete awareness to the physical changes in your body.
2.) Respond rather than react to your day by introducing mindful check-ins
Set your timer on your phone at 3 hour intervals throughout your day. When your alarm goes off, use it as a reminder to check-in with your breath. Five deep in halation and exhalation is all it takes to reset. Go a step further and say something positive or encouraging about yourself.
3.) Stressing about your to-do list? Worried how you're going to get everything accomplished in the day? Stop. Take 10 deep inhalations and exhalations
Ask yourself: 'What is in my control?' Think calmly about how you respond to a situation. Where you focus your attention. Focus on the most important action. Turn off your email. Set the timer on your phone for 20 minutes. Focus fully on the task in-head. Continue to work fully focused for 20 minutes.
Review what you've achieved and start the process again until it's completed.