Work Well

Work Well advocates for a culture of wellness for UND faculty and staff through innovative engagement opportunities.

August Wellness Spotlight

Mindfulness at Work

Sit Happens Funny Meditation Pun Monk Meditating Digital Art by The Perfect  Presents - Pixels

You don’t need to meditate every day to receive the benefits of mindfulness at work. According to the National Institute of Health, research suggests that focusing on the present can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. Practicing mindfulness can reduce anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep. Additionally, being mindful may also help you make healthier eating choices including a reduction in binge eating and emotional eating. Read more to learn about mindfulness methods in August’s Wellness Spotlight.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness can be defined as paying attention to the present moment in an accepting, nonjudgemental way. According to David Gelles, research has shown that it is a reliable method for stress reduction, including at work. Most of the time, our minds are wandering – we think about the future, dwell about the past, worrying, fantasizing, or daydreaming. Mindfulness can bring an individual back in the moment and can give the tools we need to feel less stressed, calmer, and kinder to ourselves and others.

Tips & Tricks

Funny Tales. 3 (Mindfulness Sketch) – Mind Palaver

  1. Start your day by spending 2 minutes to simply notice your breath right after you wake up
    • As thoughts about the day pop into your mind, let them go and return to focusing on your breathing
  2. Once you get to work, take 5-10 minutes in the car or at your desk to do a mindfulness exercise before you dive into your work
    • Close your eyes, sit upright, and place your full focus on your breath. You can count out these breaths by following the 4-7-8 breathing guide here
    • When thoughts about the day arise, simply push them away and focus on your breathing
    • Allow yourself to enjoy this time. For 5-10 minutes, your attention is all your own
  3. As the day goes forward and your brain starts to tire, mindfulness can help you stay sharp and alert
    • After lunch, set a timer to go off every hour
      • When the timer rings, stop what you are doing and do 1 minute of mindfulness practice
      • Bonus– pair this alarm with a drinking water reminder!
  4. Stressful Situations
    1. When going through a particularly stressful moment, a popular mindfulness experience known as STOP can be helpful:
      1. S: Stop. Pause no matter what you are doing.
      2. T: Take a breath. Focus on your breathing to bring you back to the present moment.
      3. O: Observe. Acknowledge what is happening whether it is good or bad.
      4. P: Proceed. Continue doing whatever it was that you were doing after checking in with the present moment.
  5. Finally, when the day comes to an end, practice leaving work at work
    • Use the RAIN exercise:
      • R: Recognize. Acknowledge what is happening, just noting it in a calm and accepting manner
      • A: Accept. Allow life to be just as it is, without trying to change it right away, and without wishing it were different somehow
      • I: Investigate: See how it feels, whether it is making you upset or happy, just note it
      • N: Non-Identification: Realize that the sensations you are feeling make for a fleeting experience, one that soon will pass.
    • Letting go of these stresses from the day will allow you to return home and be fully present with your family

How to Be More Mindful at Work - CEO North America

References

How to Be More Mindful at Work

Mindful Working: The Best Practices for Bringing Mindfulness to Work

10 Ways to Be More Mindful at Work