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5 min read

Easing Work Related Stress With Mindfulness

In simplistic terms, mindfulness is a form of meditation and can be described as living in the present moment. It is where you can allow yourself to be aware of right now and to immerse yourself in your senses and appreciate what you can see, smell, hear, feel and taste. It is not worrying about what has happened before or what may happen in the future because the only concern is you being in this moment.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
April 23, 2024

In simplistic terms, mindfulness is a form of meditation and can be described as living in the present moment. It is where you can allow yourself to be aware of right now and to immerse yourself in your senses and appreciate what you can see, smell, hear, feel and taste. It is not worrying about what has happened before or what may happen in the future because the only concern is you being in this moment.

Work often equals stress. We live in a very busy and noisy world that never sleeps and many people really struggle in getting the right work life balance. Statistics show that millions of  working days are lost each year in the UK due to work related stress, anxiety and depression and while many companies are highlighting this and addressing mental health needs and support, much is yet to be done. Mindfulness is a way of alleviating stress and can be done anywhere - outside, at home and in the workplace.

An uncomplicated yet highly effective example which is easy to understand the psychological mindful mechanism is to make coffee. Holding the cup, close your eyes and appreciate the warm cup which holds the simple yet delicious blend of coffee, water and milk. Open your eyes and watch the steam gently rising from the drink and notice the pattern it makes as it swirls into the air in front of you. Take a few moments to inhale the intoxicating aroma before taking that first sip of the coffee and acknowledge the unique taste on your tongue.

See! Hopefully, you were so busy concentrating on being in the moment that you did not allow yourself to be consumed with worry or stress about your problems for that short time. You were aware only of your own thoughts and emotions in the present moment. You were conscious and aware of yourself and the stillness you had created. Having shifted your awareness away from everyday stress for a while, you could feel the gratitude of appreciating the simple things in life. You’ve seen a glimpse of the bigger picture.

Mindfulness is increasingly popular, especially over the last few years and is a huge business worldwide with magazines, books, music and apps galore. There is much scientific and medical evidence to suggest that mindfulness can help with common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and feelings of stress and potential burnout - and with mental health being so openly talked about and accepted, this can only mean good news.

Of course, mindfulness is no substitute for obtaining medical advice. If anyone is ever feeling unwell in any way such as low mood, anxiety, depression, loss of concentration, feelings of apathy and disinterest or suffering from insomnia due to worry or racing thoughts then the first port of call should always be a consultation with a medical professional.

What mindfulness can be however, is a helping hand to lead you to less intense responses about events outside of your control - and mindfulness can be practised anywhere.

It is very easy to get caught up in a routine of work, worry and often broken sleep where everyday seems like any other. Stepping ‘out of the box’ or ‘switching off’ allows you to give your attention to you and the world around you. It can help you to regulate your emotions and provide you with enhanced resilience, strengthening your ability to bounce back from adversity.

Some examples of mindfulness that can be done in the workplace are deep breathing exercises, mindful walking during breaks, mindful eating practices, mindful listening and interactions, desk yoga, body scanning to alleviate tension, gratitude journaling and the use of positive affirmations. There are many more meditations including the simple yet effective example mentioned above so it is important to experiment to see which works for you in your environment.

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