If you find yourself in a work environment that is “intense”, you need to have effective outlets for stress or you risk reaching, breaking point. Tight deadlines, adrenalin fueled workloads certainly get the heart rate going but when the excitement dies down, your body and mind are seriously drained, leaving you vulnerable to a whole plethora of anxiety and stress symptoms.
The mindful hype is for a reason. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned meditator or a newbie, mindfulness is suitable for everyone and it's particularly effective at targeting stress. Mindfulness is our natural ability to be aware of our thoughts and how our bodies feel at any given time. We step back and become present, observing how we feel in any situation. This allows us to respond more effectively to circumstances, as opposed to being irrational or impulsive. Overwhelming Mindfulness Research evidence shows that mindfulness boosts our immune system, intelligence, positive emotional states, self awareness, creativity, happiness, compassion and so much more. Crucially it helps us to gain perspective over situations and see things how they really are, instead of through a veil of anxiety or stress. Mindfulness is always available to us, every single moment.
Mindfulness techniques are as simple as taking 5 minutes (or even less) and following the “stop” process.
S = Stop
Stop what you are doing and take a purposeful break for mindfulness.
T = Take
Take three deep breaths (or how ever many necessary) to bring yourself into the present moment. Just focus on your breathing and nothing else.
O = Observe
Observe what is happening with your;
- Emotions: How do you feel right now? Anxious? Happy? Observe your thoughts, without judgment, as they enter and leave your head, this step is all about self-awareness.
- Mind: Are you making assumptions about your feelings? What is your “case theory” for why you feel a certain way?
- Body: What physical sensations are you aware of?
What did you learn from non-judgmentally observing your thoughts? Have you been exacerbating your stress by jumping to conclusions? Are your anxieties rational? Proceed with whatever you were doing before, making a conscious choice to learn from your observations and react to any situation in the most effective way possible.
2.Create your tribe
Create a tribe of supportive, like minded people both inside and outside of work. Your friends at work are likely going through the same struggles as you and sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is enough to boost your happiness in stressful times. It’s a plus if you can let off steam with your work friends after a long day and support each other in a relaxed environment. It’s also important to have friends totally unconnected to your work, people you can rely on for a good time, when you just need to detach from work.
3. Celebrate your wins
No matter how small, it’s important to celebrate your milestones. If you are working incessantly, you need to feel rewarded to keep on going without resentment. In a fast paced work environment sometimes we forget to celebrate the small moments but when we do it works wonders for our happiness.
4. Recognise the early signs of stress
Rather than ignoring signs of stress, you need to be in tune with yourself and note how work pressures may influence your mood, attitude and even your body. Self-awareness is key to self-preservation. If you start to notice negative changes, you can change your lifestyle or even mindset to stop stress from reducing your happiness. Create positive changes, as soon as you notice stress symptoms instead of waiting to reach the dreaded burnout point.
5. Recognise that stress is part of life
Don’t work yourself into a frenzy asking, “Why do these things always happen to me?” Instead, recognize that stress is part of everyday life, obstacles and problems are part of the journey and your reaction to the stress is the most important part of the process.