Mindfulness for the Changing Workplace

The ever-changing world of the workplace can be stressful and cause burnout if you’re not careful. Competition, red tape, colleagues – all of these things
can cause unwanted negativity.

The American Institute of Stress (AIS) reports that 80% of people feel stressed at work[1],
while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 75% of all doctors’ visits are due to stress. The impact our work has on the rest
of our life should never be taken for granted.

Addressing the causes of stress

To manage workplace stress, you need to start by identifying and understanding the causes of tension in your job. Most of the time it comes from changes
in your workplace, such as a new boss, new clients, new deals or new structures within your business. These are just a few examples of what may be
bringing you down. Maybe there are new, higher expectations being placed on you, or perhaps you’ve started working with a new colleague who you don’t
quite see eye to eye with.

Whatever it is, if you don’t address the source of your stress and get it sorted, it’s only going to expand and grow into something worse. This can cause
burnout and exhaustion, not to mention feelings of sadness and pressure. You need to conquer these situations and emotions in order to become more
productive, happier and settled at work.

Eliminating problematic behaviour

After you’ve defined the issues that are causing you trouble, dig a bit deeper to identify any recurring behaviour (i.e. habit) that makes the situation
worse and then address it. Do you start your day by answering emails at home? Try keeping work at work and make your morning objective to feel content
and in the moment.

Often technology that makes it easier for us to work – such as phones and laptops – can also cause us to bring our work home. This means that no place
is safe from certain stresses. One way to counter this is by creating clear boundaries for concentrating on one situation at a time. You don’t want
to be watching your favourite television program while at the same time mentally writing emails. Nor do you want to be that family member who’s always
causing arguments because they’re still grappling with workplace stress while sitting at the dinner table.

In order to become mindful, you need to set boundaries for each aspect of your life so they don’t blend into one. This will allow you to acknowledge each
stressor and each situation one at a time, which in turn will bring you more into the moment and out of worry.

Maintaining physical well-being

When we focus on looking after our mind, we often tend to neglect our body. Sitting in an office all day can create tension and tightness across your body,
as well as weakness and instability. Taking up some form of physical activity will not only help you release anger and anxiety from your mind, but
also loosen and strengthen your muscles.

You need to find the activity that suits you best – not just for your mind and body, but also your schedule. Becoming more in tune with your body will
allow you to recognize the early symptoms of stress and enable you to act accordingly.

Tackling stress with meditation

Finally, using meditation to address the exact thoughts and feelings that are holding you back is important. When a situation stresses us out, we tend
to store up the stress, which creates further tension down the line. Meditation allows you one-on-one time with each emotion you have bundled up in
your mind and teaches you how to deal with these thoughts so you’re better equipped the next time they arise.

Many of the struggles that come with change can often be dealt with through patience and preparation. The techniques included in this article can help
you prepare for the next stressor so it’s not as big of a problem when it comes. Over time, you’ll become better and better equipped to deal with change.
As with most things, all it takes is time and practice.

[1] http://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/


To continue following Anna’s journey through the corporate jungle, be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive the latest edition.

If you’re keen to kickstart or deepen a meditation practice, check out our latest mindfulness programs at our Events page for schedule and details.

Scroll to Top