Taking mindfulness practices to the workplace

Mindfulness can and will look different for each person, but the benefits are far reaching and universal.

A large majority of our days, weeks and years are spent in the workplace therefore creating a healthy environment individually and corporately needs to be a priority. Your quality of life, longevity and effectiveness will benefit.

Many jobs require hours at a desk looking at a computer screen while others require customer care and hours of standing. No matter the physical environment all jobs come with stress. We can take control of the stress level we experience by cultivating mental and physical habits. A few (three to five) minutes of mindful practice once or twice in a work day will reduce stress, improve mindset and reenergize your focus.

Mindful breathing
  • Notice shallow tense breathing, raised shoulders or other physical signs of stress
  • Intentional shift by closing your eyes, gaze at a photo and take calming deep breathes
Mindful movements
  • Notice stiffness or poor posture
  • Intentional shift by standing and mindful moving in rhythm with breathe. You can start with circling one ankle and then the other; reaching up and bending at the waist; or taking short walks carefully attending to the movement of your feet, knees and hips
Thought surfing
  • Notice your mind wandering or fixating
  • Intentional shifty by listening to audio of waves crashing

None of these practices cost money or require special equipment. It may be simply changing your focus or mindset when going to the water cooler or stepping out back for a break. You may need to carve out five minutes before a meeting or three minutes with your snack.

Mindfulness can and will look different for each person, but the benefits are far reaching and universal. Your heart rate, blood pressure and mood will all be the evidence.

Michigan State University Extension provides workshops on Stress Less with Mindfulness in worksites.

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