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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp


Feeling stressed in the office? Are you searching for a solution to help manage your work-related stress levels? Mindfulness techniques or Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) might be the answer. 

These stress reduction techniques improve psychological well-being, cognition, physiology, and brain health. And let’s be honest, these benefits can be a blessing in the workplace! 

What are Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs)?

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are essentially mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques. You can use these practices to both prevent or combat stress. These MBIs can help you cope with the various challenges you face at work and in your personal life. 

Specifically, MBIs can help you manage depression, anxiety, and stress in the workplace while being more effective in your position. 

First and foremost, MBIs teach you to be aware, non-judgmental, and present in the moment. You will learn to be more aware of your thoughts and better equipped to make better decisions. Lastly, you’re taught to avoid multi-tasking, which can exacerbate stress levels. 

Gaining traction over recent decades, these techniques have been found to have promising effects. 

What are the common mindfulness techniques?

There are four common mindfulness techniques that can be helpful in the workplace. Remember, these mindfulness techniques were formed with personality traits in mind. Understandably then, the efficacy of the MBIs will be determined by your own personality traits and processing style. Make sure you choose accordingly.

Focused attention

With this mindfulness technique, you need to reduce distractions and maintain focus. With focused attention, you act with awareness. Awareness teaches you to tend to present activities rather than automatically respond. If you’re diligent, persistent, and able to use self-control, this technique will suit you.

Open monitoring

This technique engages the meta-awareness of upcoming and passing stimuli. Being open to experience is ideal for those with a sense of curiosity and attentiveness to their inner feelings while being fully in the present moment

Loving-kindness

When you foster loving and kindness towards yourself and others, everyone can benefit. It starts with cultivating kindness to oneself first, then progressing it outward towards loved ones, someone who you may dislike, and then beyond to all people. This MBI technique is one that people with friendliness and warmth tend to gravitate towards. 

Body scan

Body scan involves observing the physical sensation of your body from top to bottom and shifting the focus from one part to the next. It involves directing and turning attention and awareness around, which avoids unintentionally focusing on other objects. If you have high sensory processing sensitivity, this MBI is not for you. However, this technique can be quite helpful for those that can maintain and disengage to shift focus. 

How these mindfulness techniques can be used in the working environment

Mindfulness techniques can help you be more successful in your job and advance your career. Your team can benefit too. Workers that you manage will feel more productive and effective when you lead by way of this example. 

Tips on MBIs in the workplace

In order to manage stress, you need to think about your own personality traits and apply them to your mindfulness techniques. What works for a focused person may be less beneficial to someone who is more of a feeling person.

With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to include these techniques in your daily routine.

Focused attention: Pay attention

It can be hard to stop and smell the roses in a busy work environment. But challenge yourself to engage every sense in your workplace. The sounds, sights, smells, touches, and, if applicable, tastes. Let each of these things keep you firmly grounded right in the moment to battle stress and make your best decisions. 

Open monitoring: Live in the moment

If you relate to being more curious and open-minded, challenge yourself to live in each moment. Be intentional and bring an accepting yet discerning form of attention to everything you do. Whether it is interacting with fellow coworkers who fill your cup or taking pride in a project you oversee. And while you’re at it, find the joy in the simple pleasures of your day. 

Loving-kindness: Accept yourself as you are 

Start treating yourself the way you would treat someone you care deeply about. By giving yourself this kind of love and kindness, you open your mind to consider all facets of your work and career.

If you have loving-kindness in your heart, when you struggle with others in the workplace, it will be easier to work with them. Which is conducive to a professional and fair working environment.

Body scan: Focus on breathing

When those negative thoughts dare to thwart you from your work, sit down and take a deep breath with your eyes closed. Focus on that breath as you draw it in and release it. Being aware of every part of your body and letting the air you breathe flow in and out. It can help you manage yourself through the stress and be ready to tackle any situation. 

Why use MBIs in the workplace?

One key theme to all four of these mindfulness-based techniques is to focus on the present moment. 

Try thinking of mindfulness as a way of directing your attention. Since everyone thinks differently and has their own personality traits, being mindful can come in many forms. Tuning into it in a way you can relate to is the most important step.

You can use mindfulness techniques to be more clear-thinking and confident while on the job. Focus on the present rather than dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about the future. When you do this, you will be aware of the present moment and be able to respond better and get the job done. 

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