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Mindfulness and meditation is currently having a revival in the corporate world. While it might seem very touchy-feely and a bit of a fad, the benefits of mindfulness are scientifically proven.1 Just a few days practice can increase concentration and focus, while constant practice has been shown to decrease the size of the amygdala which controls the flight or fight response in the brain2. Practising just a few minutes a day can help you feel less stressed, more present, focused and productive.

We’ve decided to put some tips together to help you practise mindfulness at work:

Spend 5 minutes a day in silence

As funny as it sounds, try simply practising just sitting in silence for five minutes. Close your eyes, find a quiet place and simply just focusing on your breathing. You’ll be amazed how much it can help stress to dissipate and help you feel a sense of calm.

Take breaks and don’t feel guilty about it

Repeat after me. It’s okay to take breaks. You’re not a machine and your project isn’t going to suddenly go up in flames if you have a five minute break. Breaks are important to give yourself a chance to regroup and help you to be productive for longer.

Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing

Also known as deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing can help to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and even help with minimising depression.3 among many other benefits such as reducing blood pressure and heart rate as well. It helps to bring your body out of “flight or fight” mode that we can enter into when we’re stressed. Diaphragmatic breathing is about taking big slow breaths – similar to that practiced in yoga, pilates, meditation (and singing!). Deep breathing is how we should actually breathe as it allows for a full oxygen exchange in the body and allows for the diaphragm to have a full range of motion – we tend not to do this though as our breath tends to become more shallow the more stressed we become. So stopping, taking note of this and practicing the correct method is quite important to help you to feel more relaxed and calm.

Respond to emails and notifications in a mindful manner – act don’t react 

When we react to stresses of the day we allow ourselves to move into a more stressful, heightened state. When we instead choose to act rather than react we allow ourselves to act from a more calmer place. Don’t feel compelled to respond to every notification and email instantly and break your focus. Set time each hour so that you can still respond in a timely and mindful manner rather simply allowing your concentration to be broken every 2 minutes and then having to get back into a state of focus again.

Download a meditation app and give it a try in your lunch break

You’ll never know if you don’t try. Meditation is great for relieving stress, anxiety and depression and for helping to promote focus and mindfulness. Download an app and give it a go for a few days in a row and see how you feel (both physically and mentally). Meditation is essentially free and can be practised anywhere, any time.

Time box your day so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and allow for breaks inbetween 

Break up your day into boxes of equal length allowing for breaks in between allowing for breaks in between (hint hint, TimeChi can help you do this!). Also refer to point two and don’t feel guilty about taking breaks!

Timeboxing your day will allow for times of rest and focus allowing you to be more mindful and focused throughout the entire day. Just because you’re at your desk longer than your colleagues doesn’t mean you’re necessarily more productive than them. Work in a smarter and healthier way.

If you’re interested in helping improving your focus and increasing your productivity in a mindful way check out our product at timechi.com

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