You may have heard about the hot topic of bringing mindfulness into the workplace. Mindfulness is about intentionally paying attention the here and now while putting aside our programmed biases. Just last week the New York Times came out with a report citing the significant results of an evidenced based program I originally developed for eMindful and Aetna called Mindfulness at Work™. Now it’s in many multinational corporations.
The moment step into the present moment and get in touch with choice and clarity is what I call The Now Effect. The benefits of this include:
Increased clarity of mind, balance, energy, zest for life
Improve complex problem-solving and decision-making
More emotional intelligence, less reactive
Mood regulation and immune system enhancement
You might have heard about this before and even practiced it a couple times. But the habitual ways of thinking and acting take over and it goes by the wayside.
So let this post be an opportunity to commit or recommit to cultivating mindfulness at work and bringing more of The Now Effect into your life.
Take a few deep breaths right now after reading these words. Then go down the list and honestly ask yourself, when was the last time I did this and where can I bring it into my day?
Here are 9 ways you can start today:
As the workday begins, slightly slow down as you walk to the car, check in with your body and notice any tension. Try and soften it.
Trying driving to work a little slower today and let red lights be reminders to just notice your breathing.
As you walk to the office, breathe in and out with every three steps. Notice the sensation of walking, it took you over a year to learn how to do this.
If you sit at a desk, take a few breaths before checking the computer for emails or updates
If possible, maybe once a week, eat by yourself in silence, eat slightly slower and really tune into the sense of taste while eating.
When talking to a colleague, notice if your mind is wandering onto something else and gently come back to mindful listening.
When walking back to the car from work, practice the same way you walked to your car.
No need to ‘rush’ home to ‘relax’, drive slightly slower and experiment with new radio stations, maybe reflect on what you actually did that day. What was positive, what was stuff you would like to do better?
When getting home, if you have a family, take a few minutes in the car and keep your breath company, notice if your body is tense, and if so, try to soften those muscles by breathing in and out of them, with awareness, and just letting them be.
The fascinating thing is that researchers in the last few years have shown that we can actually change our brain architecture for the better with these practices.
You can practice mindfulness and experience more of The Now Effect in your life, opening up to more choice, opportunity, possibility and effectiveness. Just follow those 9 ways to get started today.
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook , Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions at Work App, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community to get free Daily Now Moment Reminders and access to a free monthly live online event with a teaching and direct Q&A with Elisha.