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5 ways to make mindfulness part of your workday

Jun 12, 2019 | Business

There’s a reason many of the world’s biggest corporations and start-ups such as Google, Apple and Nike practice mindfulness. Research shows that mindfulness in the workplace reduces stress, makes people better leaders, aids concentration and enables greater self-awareness. Mindfulness and meditation is one of the fastest-growing health trends in Australia, it is a key part of stress management and is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. It promotes self-awareness, which is seen as the most important quality for leaders, boosts productivity, improves focus and strengthens relationships. The average person’s mind wanders 49.6 per cent of the time, which suggests the challenges in holding focused meetings and engaging staff. That’s why experts are advising businesses to encourage staff to practice mindfulness and meditation in order to reduce stress, increase productivity and enable greater self-awareness. Scientists are also discovering the benefits of mindfulness on strengthening the positive neural pathways in the brain through neuroplasticity, and it can also assist with managing depression, anxiety, addiction recovery and relapse prevention. Read on for 5 ways to make mindfulness part of your workday!

1.  Positive Language

Words are powerful and cannot be taken back so take a moment to think about your choice of response in a meeting, to an email or phone call. This difference between reaction and action can make a huge difference to the culture of an organisation so take a moment to reflect and consider things from another person’s point of view before you respond. Wait until you are feeling calm and clear before communicating as there is nothing worse than responding to a workmate with negative emotions and paying the price later with regret, stress and anxiety.   

2.  Remember To Breathe

Many people in the workplace are overstimulated and overloaded (sympathetic nervous system which operates in fight or flight mode) and breathing can become short and shallow when one operates in sensory overload. Focusing on the breath takes you into a sensory space of stillness and presence as you observe the breath. Diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system responsible for healing and repair) and this physiological response helps to relax your body and mind.

3.  Notice The Little Things Around You

When you’ve got a schedule that has back-to-back meetings, practicing mindfulness throughout your day can make a difference. Focusing on your feet touching the ground as you walk between meeting rooms, noticing the temperature of the water as you take a drink or the flavour and texture of the food as it enters your mouth at lunchtime can help to shift your pace and bring you back to centre. 

4.  Block Unscheduled Time for Yourself

Speed and a hectic schedule can trigger the stress response (fight or flight) and the best thing to encourage mindfulness is to slow down. Often the only way to ensure a slower pace in your work day is to block out time. This allows you to check in with yourself, breathe and process thoughts and emotions before you re-focus and move on to the next meeting or task.

5.  Incorporate Mindfulness Into Meetings

Take a few minutes at the beginning of a meeting to meditate, set intentions and take a few breaths. This enables the group to become settled and present with the group before bringing the focus to the topic of the meeting. It also puts mindfulness as a priority into the culture of an organisation.  

Here at DGL we are always looking to improve our culture, increase happiness and maintain a healthy workplace. If you would like to discuss techniques for implementing mindfulness in your workplace, contact the Team today!

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