You wake up to the blare of your alarm, rush through or skip breakfast, and get into your car to head to work. On your commute, you might deal with traffic jams, only hit red lights, and struggle to find a place to park near your office.
Once you finally make it to work, you’re met with a hectic meeting schedule, endless unanswered emails, and the constant notifications from your various social media channels. You’re exhausted and feeling frantic — and the day has barely begun.
Practicing mindfulness can help you stay grounded through the demands of your workday. It can help you find balance, decrease stress, and even increase satisfaction and happiness in life. Let’s take a look at a few ways to incorporate mindfulness into your workday:
Bell of Mindfulness
Using a bell of mindfulness is a great technique for reminding yourself to stay mindful throughout the day. You can use a physical bell, timer, or an alarm on your phone. Set your bell or alarm to ring at regular intervals throughout the day. Every time your bell rings, take a few moments to stop doing and just be. Put down whatever it is that you’re working on, close your eyes, and take a few deep, slow breaths.
Each time your bell rings, you have an opportunity to slow down, check in with yourself, and put things in perspective. The bell of mindfulness can be very grounding, especially in an office environment where you can easily get wrapped up in the million things you’re trying to do at once and forget to center yourself.
Eating mindfully can be really hard to do, especially when you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. Eating too quickly, eating junk food, and eating while doing something else are all examples of unmindful eating.
Many people who practice mindful eating find that they can transform stress when they stop trying to do several things at once and instead focus solely on one activity at a time. So when lunchtime rolls around and you’re tempted to just eat at your desk and work through your break — think again. You’ll likely be more productive and happier if you take 30 minutes to enjoy your food away from your desk and focus on eating mindfully.
Movement is perhaps one of the most enjoyable and important ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your workday. If you, like many people, sit at a desk in front of a computer for upwards of eight hours a day, your mental and physical health and well-being are at risk. Sitting for a prolonged period of time impacts vein health, including stress levels, back health, and eye health, just to name a few.
You can check off the movement and mindfulness boxes on your to-do list by going outside for a short walk whenever you can. Even if you stand up and take a lap around your building once every few hours, you’ll give your body a chance to stretch and your mind a chance to recenter and breathe.
Integrating grounding practices into your daily routines, both when you’re at work and when you’re at home, can go a long way in making mindfulness a more central part of your day. Spending a portion of each day unplugged from all your devices is a great way to ground yourself and be present.
Another great grounding practice is to work in a garden and get your hands dirty. What could be more grounding than literally working with the ground to create food or beautiful flowers? The value of community gardens is great, showing the benefits of working with others in your grounding and mindful practices.
After all, one of the best parts of mindfulness is getting to share it with others. The world might be a different place if everyone practiced a few of these mindfulness hacks throughout their days. We often don’t realize how stressed and overwhelmed we are until we take a minute to stop and slow down.
Mindfulness probably isn’t something that is going to just happen to you without any effort. Especially in a world like the one we live in today, mindfulness must be intentionally cultivated and practiced, meaning you have to do it over and over again before you realize you’re going through your day in a more mindful way without even thinking about it.
The next time you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of touch, try the bell of mindfulness, mindful eating practices, fresh air and movement, and grounding practices. You’ll likely feel better and be on your way to developing habits that will be beneficial in the long run.