Mindfulness and wellbeing are some of the hottest topics in the business world. The reason for the growing interest in mindfulness is due to the developing stress remote workers are experiencing in their personal and professional lives. With events like COVID-19 increasing the level of stress and anxiety in the workplace. Along with work-related stress, there is a growing concern for personal health, financial stability, and other aspects of our daily lives. As of late, organizations and employees have changed their culture and way of working drastically, and it’s caused uncertainty to increase.
People are always attempting to find ways to solve problems in their lives. We seek out the best possible solutions to work productively with family members, change the way we interact with others, and adapt to new routines. That leads to people searching for ways to balance themselves. They attempt to achieve a natural state of happiness and health, to better respond to these challenges with a strong mindset.
With the current troubles impacting the world, mindfulness has become increasingly important for most people. It’s become an answer to dealing with many of the issues that are constantly plaguing our minds. However, not too many people are aware of what mindfulness is or how it can even help them, let alone practice mindfulness. If you are interested in learning about mindfulness then you have found the right place. For this post, we are going to guide you through how to practice mindfulness in a remote work setting.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be labeled as a mental muscle that provides a person with a downshift from a high mental gear such as problem-solving and thinking into a much lower mental gear such as observing and becoming aware of the present time.
Most people tend to spend a good portion of their life thinking on a higher mental gear. While it is a valuable ability for the most part, such as during tests or solving a problem at work, people need to also learn how to mentally change in another direction. There are several activities that people can use to think less, not more, for example, falling asleep or letting go of worries. The best way to pull this off is by practicing mindfulness.
Benefits of practicing mindfulness
Similar to how there are numerous health benefits to frequently exercising, establishing a constant mindfulness practice provides several valuable benefits. Physical exercise can help our body remain in great shape, which means both are healthier and feel better.
Mindfulness is just the same as physical exercise, except it helps keep our minds in good shape. By taking the time to practice mindfulness and training our focus, we are better able to use our minds to focus entirely on what matters most, resist distractions and temptations, and think more clearly. The results will cause a person to feel better emotionally and mentally.
Some of the most essential and well-known benefits of practicing mindfulness include:
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
- Improves focus and concentration
- Enhances communication and relationships
- Helps you stick to your goals
- Better sleep
To reap the benefits of mindfulness you need to, you need to be capable of sticking with it and establishing a routine for mindfulness. Similar to going out for a 20-minute run won’t make you instantly faster or lose weight immediately, practicing mindfulness for 20 minutes only once or twice won’t offer you instantaneous benefits.
Improving your speed or losing weight requires you to maintain a consistent and sustained habit of exercise. Mindfulness is just the same, and you can only earn those benefits if you keep a consistent and sustained habit of practicing mindfulness. All of these benefits are possible, but only if the person is willing to put the work into it, which is why you need to ensure you are encouraging your remote workers.
How to get started
Practicing mindfulness is quite simple but not as easy as most people think. Similar to how going out for a run is a simple process, yet maintaining those frequent exercises is challenging to maintain for most. However, the fact that it's challenging to go through these exercises means that it's growth-promoting. That same fact also applies to mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness will start uncomfortable at first since you are going to be re-training your mind to operate differently. That is something that needs to remain on your mind as you get started.
Getting Set Up
First off, choose a time that allows you to practice mindfulness. People who successfully establish a time to practice mindfulness do it at the same time every day. Look over your schedule and decide on what time you are more likely to be able to spend 20 minutes practicing mindfulness. Most people choose to do so during the morning. However, you can choose to do so at any time, but it's best to do it before starting any work.
Use around 20-30 minutes of your day to practice mindfulness as quickly as possible. Try to aim for five minutes during the start of these practices to ease into them. Then do 10 minutes for the next few days. Once you’ve reached a week into the practice increase it to 20 minutes. For the most part, most people tend to give up on practicing mindfulness early on because they start too slowly. They spend over two weeks meditating for five minutes. The issue here is that the main benefits of mindfulness will not start to appear until they manage to go through a more extended session. That is why it's crucial to work up to the 20-minute mark during the first week of practicing mindfulness.
Consider also using something that will ensure you remind yourself to practice mindfulness, such as a calendar. Doing so will ensure that you remain accountable for the goal you’ve set up when starting this practice. Each day you manage to complete a mindfulness session, cross it off with a marker. If you do manage to miss out on a day, make sure to note down how many days in a row you had before the miss and attempt to beat it as a whole new goal.
Here is how you get started at practicing mindfulness. First off, sit down in an area that is comfortable and supports good posture. It can be anything from a dining room chair to the floor in front of your couch. Either option is fine. Laying down is also an option, just make sure you don’t fall asleep in the process. Crossing your legs is not necessary nor do you have to hold your hands in some weird manner. Merely sit down and get comfortable.
Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing, particularly on how it feels like to breathe. Observe the sensations associated with air coming through your nose, filling up your lungs, and then coming out of your mouth. The goal here is to become aware of and notice what it feels like to breathe. Don’t let your mind wander and think about other things, concentrate on how it feels to breathe. Anytime you start to notice your mind drifting to something else, bring yourself back to that sensation.
There is no unique technique that needs to be applied here, just breathing normally, like any other day. The idea here isn't to slow down your breathing or relax. The point is to train your attention. It doesn't matter how you breathe. It's the focusing part that holds a crucial role in this practice. That is all you have to do, nothing else, and yes, it is that simple. However, just because the technique is simple doesn't mean it is easy to pull off.
Dealing with obstacles
One of the most significant roadblocks you will encounter starting a mindfulness practice is your own judgemental mind. Keep in mind that mindfulness is a mental exercise, not something you're competing against others. It’s alright to get distracted if you notice your mind drifting or thinking about other things. Instead, gently guide your attention back to the sensation of breathing. Distractions are natural and will happen from time to time. In fact, getting distracted from simple awareness mode into thinking mood is a critical part of practicing mindfulness.
The entire point of practicing mindfulness is to be aware of when you start drifting and changing your focus back to the sensation of breathing. When you do get distracted, you are provided with an opportunity to work your mindfulness muscles and bring your attention back to the sensation of breathing.
Furthermore, don’t allow yourself to get overly judgemental with yourself. As you continue practicing mindfulness, some sessions will become far easier, and your focus will improve as you continue to watch your breathing. However, some sessions may feel more challenging, as if your mind is incapable of quieting down, constantly distracting you. That’s fine, don’t allow these terrible sessions to get to you. Instead, continue practicing mindfulness. You’ll eventually be able to get a better handle on your mind.
Practicing mindfulness will ensure that you and your remote employees can take care of your mental health. While remote working has provided several valuable benefits, it still has some issues that cause an impact on people's health. Practicing mindfulness ensures that your remote workers not only maintain their mental health but improve it as well. Furthermore, these practice sessions are an excellent way to bond together. Holding group mindfulness sessions will help not only improve their mental health but their relationship with each other.