Nebula member, Modern Spirit, takes us through the practice of workplace wellness and shows us how we can have that 9-5 peace of mind.
Imagine for a moment that going to work was not only mentally and creatively stimulating, but also facilitated the growth of consciousness. Work-life would be the training ground for becoming a fully developed individual as well as part of a greater whole; the foundation of realizing our role in creating harmony within and without.
The benefits of Mindfulness at Work:
Mindfulness practice is a way of hacking and reprogramming your mind to think in healthier, less stressful ways.
Through quiet, precise movements, (yoga + meditation) offer the practice and platform through which we can observe our mental, physical, and emotional habit patterns. Mindful discipline teaches us to show up with clarity and ease even (and especially) when we feel challenged. This deepening awareness lends itself to a better understanding of how to navigate our relationships and promotes a sense of thriving ease, otherwise known as Flow.
Mindfulness is ultimately engaging in a series of practices that become habitual over time. Like the act of pulling out your phone to check your email while waiting for the printer is habitual; try this instead:
1.) Take a moment to check in with your body. What does it feel like to take a deep breath? How does it feel to stand or sit? How is the weight of your body distributed, and how can you adjust to feel more balanced?
2.) If your mind wanders, come back to the sensations in your body.
3.) Stay there long enough to collect the data of your physical, mental and emotional state without analyzing, and when you’re ready, proceed with your day.
Built For Distraction
Just because it’s called a “workplace” doesn’t mean it’s inherently designed for you to do your best work.
“The modern office is built for distraction,” says Joe Burton, founder of Whil, a meditation app. “Not just the open-office floor plan, but Slack channels and email. They constantly take you off task. You’re constantly having to go back and remember where you left off.”
By incorporating mindful discipline into our workflow, we learn how to settle into the moment in order to focus more effectively, communicate more compassionately, and manage our frustrations; ultimately allowing us to avoid many of the common pitfalls that lead to dissatisfaction, or burnout on the job.
The Proof is in the Practice
The goal of mindfulness isn’t to stop thinking, or to empty the mind. Rather, the point is to sharpen your focus and increase your awareness of your physical sensations, thoughts + emotions in order to see them more clearly without judgment or assumptions. As a result of this deepening clarity, we are setting ourselves up to fully inhabit more of who we are, both at work and in our lives outside of work.
There is a growing body of research on the benefits of yoga + meditation, however the late teacher Krishna Pattabhi Jois said it best when he explained “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.” In other words, the proof is in the practice, so why not structure your day at work as the training ground for cultivating more creativity, focused effort, and an overall sense of satisfaction and fulfillment?
Email Constance, teacher + founder of Modern Spirit, to book a free 1-hour onsite yoga + meditation class and to access a fully conceived support system aimed at integrating wellness into the workplace.