Some mindfulness exercises for your working day

Many of you will be familiar with the wonderful work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programmes. I recently came across an article by Saki F. Santorelli, one of the MBSR instructors at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The article is called, Mindfulness and Mastery in the Workplace. It presents 21 ways to reduce stress during the working day.

I picked out a few that suggest more ways we can engage in mindfulness and meditation without drawing a lot of attention to ourselves, or taking a lot of time out of work, as we were discussing in the last blog entry.

You can easily adapt them to suit your circumstances:

  • While your car is warming up [or you are waiting for bus], try taking a minute to quietly pay attention to your breathing.
  • While sitting at your desk, keyboard, etc., pay attention to your bodily sensations, again consciously attempting to relax and rid yourself of excess tension.
  • Use your breaks to truly relax rather than simply "pausing." For instance, instead of having coffee, a cigarette, or reading, try taking a short walk -- or sitting at your desk and renewing yourself.
  • Decide to stop for one to three minutes every hour during the workday. Become aware of your breathing and bodily sensations, allowing the mind to settle in as a time to regroup and recoup.
  • Choose to eat one or two lunches per week in silence. Use this as a time to eat slowly and be with yourself.
  • At the end of the workday, while your car is warming up, sit quietly and consciously make the transition from work to home -- take a moment to simply be -- enjoy it for a moment.

Like most of us, you're heading into your next full-time job -- home!

Maureen Cooper

Some of the BLOGS here are written by friends of mine but most of them are from me. Each time I write a blog I am telling a story about the kind of things that happen to us on a daily basis. Usually we have set ways of coping with these events but they don’t always work and even if they do, they might not achieve the long-term result we want. I try to suggest some new approaches to the stuff that comes up for us and whenever possible, include a short practice to help us remember. Let me know what you think - it is always good to hear from you.

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