Helping Employees With Stress Through Mindfulness

stress free deskMindfulness has been around for awhile now and those who have discovered it have realized that it’s extremely good for handling stress in a different way. One of the best things about mindfulness is that you can be religious or not and you can practice it alone as well as in a group. This is why mindfulness is something all employers should consider. By having their employees learn to practice mindful behavior can help them with stress.

Want to Implement Mindfulness at Your Business?

If you’re a business owner that is looking to try and incorporate a little bit of mindfulness practice into your employees workday, this is a good thing. This means that you care about any stress that the job might be causing them.

But, just to let you know, it can be a little bit tricky trying to figure out just where you should start when you don’t have much experience yourself at practicing it. However, here are a few helpful tips on just how you can try to implement the practice of mindfulness at your company:

Education is Key

Even though mindfulness seems to be a real trendy topic right now, it still is very foreign for a lot of people and this could be true of your own employees. It’s important that you educate yourself and your staff on what it really is, what it means to practice it, and how it can help people handle their stress much better.

Before expecting your employees to practice mindfulness you need to show them that you yourself practice it. Make sure to include any ideas you might have for some simple ways for them to try it. Make sure to encourage them to also share any of their own positive experiences that they might have about mindfulness behaviors.

Offer Some Classes

Since the practice of mindfulness will no doubt be a pretty new concept for many in your business, you should offer them some beginner classes. These can be held at your place of business or you can have them conducted outside of business for your company and employees that are interested in learning how to control their stress better.

Even though mindfulness really isn’t all that hard to learn or practice, it can, however, be a little bit difficult for beginners to figure out where they can start. If you offer company sponsored classes on the subject of mindfulness, yoga, and/or meditation this will be a great point to start from.

Allow Them to Practice on the Job

One great thing about mindfulness is that you can practice it anywhere. This means it can be done at a desk, in meetings or in office cubicles. Here are a few tips for running a meeting with mindfulness:

  • To begin with, do a self-check before you start any meeting. This is critical for anyone who is leading the meeting. You should determine what your own emotional and mental state is. Do you feel fearful or anxious? Are you irritated or angry at someone who is coming to the meeting? You should take a few minutes to meditate to clear these feelings away. This way you can manage your meeting much calmer and be able to control your emotions and thoughts.
  • Once the meeting starts, try conducting a quiet couple of minutes of meditation so that everyone can ground themselves and melt away some of the stress. This exercise lets people clear their minds of what activity their brain was involved with prior to the meeting.
  • Ask them to participate in a group self-check. This is similar to what you did just before the meeting. Go around the room and allow people to express how they’re feeling. This not only helps them, but it helps the leader of the meeting get a better appreciation of what their employees are thinking and feeling. This can relieve a lot of stress during the meeting.
  • Make sure to encourage them to be open-minded. Encourage them to ask questions before they offer their own perspectives on the meeting. Try to encourage them to approach everything as if it’s the first time they’ve experienced it.
  • Encourage them to practice acceptance. This means to suggest to them that they need to accept the person who might be speaking. Remind them to respect their personal point of view, even if it’s not the way they believe. By accepting someone doesn’t mean that they agree with them, but it does mean they won’t be judging them.
  • Always encourage them to practice compassion. Compassion helps people understand any emotional challenges others might be having because everyone has to face their own emotional hurdles.
  • The leader of the meeting needs to understand that they must regulate and not allow any kind of personal attacks on anyone in the room that’s participating. This means that they need to encourage all who are participating to not pass any personal judgments on other people and just focus on the issues at hand.
  • Remind those that are participating that they should try to monitor of their emotional, physical, and mental states. You should try to encourage them to have an ongoing internal self-check to enhance their self-regulation of their own emotions.
  • As the leader of the meeting, you need to practice responding intentionally and not with automatic reactivity. Quite often some things in a meeting might agitate or irritate some people who are present. This could cause them to go on the defense. If this happens, encourage them to breathe, take a pause and then intentionally and consciously respond in a more calm fashion.
  • Breathing is key. Since emotions can sometimes run high during meetings and anxiety and stress might be elevated, they will begin to breathe shallowly. The leader needs to monitor this and if they notice this in people should ask everyone to stop for a minute and take a few deep breaths for a couple of minutes.

During the meeting make sure that you use some breathing techniques or even include a clear stressfew beginning yoga poses. Ask employees to try this either at the beginning or the end of the meeting. A very good way to relieve the stress they might be experiencing.

If you are serious about mindfulness in the workplace it’s a good start to bringing a much more holistic approach to the wellness of your employees. It’s important to remember that the mental and emotional wellness of your employees is going to have a major impact on the overall well-being of your entire company. When your work team has a mindset that’s healthy it will much easier for them to perform and concentrate on their work with a lot less stress. Give mindfulness a try for yourself and then challenge your supervisory staff to think of how they can bring mindfulness practices to all of your employees.

Trying Mindfulness for Yourself

Whether you try it at home, in the office or even on vacation, you can implement it in different ways. Here you’ll find a few very simple suggestions on ways to practice mindfulness in order to lower your stress levels and increase your ability to have more positive thoughts, actions, and behaviors. In turn, you can share it with your employees.

Meditation

Mindfulness is pretty much the major framework that’s found behind any kind of meditation. When it comes to meditation, there are several to pick from. This includes clearing away of your thoughts totally. Other types involve just being mindful of any of your feelings and thoughts that might be present while meditating.

If you’ve never done meditation before it’s a good idea to do a little bit of research to discover what type of meditating you might feel the most comfortable starting with. You can meditate alone or with a partner or even in a group. You can actually find a variety of different helpful apps online that will help you relax and relieve yourself of stress.

Yoga

Yoga is a great way in which you can build your physical strength. It is also a great way to help build your mental strength. Yoga much like meditation is a pleasant way to practice using mindfulness. If you already do yoga, you might know that you’ve actually been practicing mindfulness at the same time. This is especially true if you focus on your breathing awareness.

If you’ve never tried yoga, there’s no need to be afraid of giving it an honest try. Yoga works well for anyone no matter what their physical ability is. It also doesn’t matter how old you are either.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are one of the easiest things you can do when it comes to mindfulness. It’s a very simple technique that you can do anywhere, including your desk in your workplace. Exercises for breathing are extremely easy and take just a few minutes of your time. The benefits are wonderful and these exercises can reduce your stress and help you concentrate much better. Here is a list of a few exercises you can try out for yourself:

  • Equal Breathing – Inhale for four counts and then exhale four counts. Do this through the nose. After you’ve practiced this for a while raising the counts up to four or six. The goal is to calm your nervous system, help increase your concentration and to reduce your stress.
  • Abdominal Breathing – Put one hand on your chest and the other one on your stomach. Now take in a deep breath through your nose and make sure the diaphragm inflates enough so your lungs stretch. The goal of this exercise is to take 6 to 10 deep and slow breaths each minute for a total of ten minutes. This will reduce your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing – It’s best to start in a pose that is comfortable and then hold your right thumb over your right nostril and then inhale deeply through the left nostril. Once you reach the peak of inhaling you will block off the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale through the right side. Continue this pattern from right to left and left to right. You can do this for as long as you feel is needed.

Waking Up on the “Right” Side of Your Bed

It’s important to try and practice mindfulness right off the bat when you first start your day. This will be a huge help for getting through the entire day. A bad morning can lead to a completely awful day. Here are a few mindful ideas that you can do to start your day off on the right foot:

  • Choose the Right “First Sound” of the Day – Instead of starting your fresh day off with an alarm that is startling which can make you tense, find an alarm that’s a lot more soothing and gentle. Things like chimes, relaxing music, or bells are a lot more calming. These types of sounds will give you a soothing start to your day.
  • Before Your Coffee Hydrate Yourself – Instead of going right to the coffee maker for some coffee, drink a large glass of water first. If your body is dehydrated, you need pure water, and after a long nights sleep, it will be thirsty. After that, you can grab that cup of coffee.
  • Take a Look at Nature – Try to avoid starting your day off with technology. Instead, try going outside with your cup of coffee and enjoy the sky, trees, birds, let both your body, eyes, and ears take it all in. After you’ve done this, then start your day.

It’s important that you do all that you can to try and start your day off as free of stress as you can. This is to try and avoid starting your day off with negative influences that can spread throughout your company which includes your fellow colleagues and employees.

 

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