Mindfulness has become a common topic among employees and employers alike. The benefit provided to a person is without question. There are several studies out there that show how practicing mindfulness can help with mental health. While remote work has managed to provide some excellent benefits, for the most part, there are still some issues that pop up and need to be addressed by employers. One way to address these growing concerns is by helping remote employees practice mindfulness regularly.
Mindfulness comes in many forms and requires some time to go through before the individual manages to begin seeing the benefits of mindfulness. However, frequent practice will lead to vast improvements and help them maintain a healthier lifestyle. Businesses will also reap the benefits of mindfulness since their employees will be able to remain more focused on their tasks and raise their productivity levels. Having employees that are irritated and frustrated constantly will get your business nowhere. Helping them deal with it will ensure relationships are maintained and collaboration improves.
For this post, we are going to go over several mindfulness exercises that remote workers can use to improve their mental health.
Begin the day with a purpose
The word intention means an underlying motivation for everything a person does, says, or thinks. From the brain's viewpoint, if a person does act in an unintended manner, there is a disconnect between the inattentive impulses of the lower mind and the more moderate, conscious abilities of the higher centers, such as the prefrontal cortex.
Since the unconscious mind is in command of most of a person's decision-making process and performances, practicing this mindfulness exercise can assist your employees in adjusting their conscious thinking with a passionate impulse that the bottom core cares about. Aside from safety, these involve urges like rewards, connection, purpose, and core values. Taking the time to set up an intention helps bolster the connection between the bottom and top centers. Doing so will vastly change a person’s day, making it more likely that their actions, words, and responses are more mindful and respectful.
These practices are best done during the morning, before checking any devices for emails or phone calls.
First off, during the wake-up process, sit down on the bed or chair in a relaxed posture. Close your eyes and focus on the sensations of your seated body. Additionally, ensure that your spine is straight and not in a rigid or awkward position. Start taking some deep breaths through your nose and exhale out the mouth. Then allow your breathing to settle into a rhythm as you continue to watch it go in and out of your body, notice the rise and fall of your chest and stomach as you breathe.
During this process, you need to start questioning yourself about what your intentions are for today. These moments should be used to assist you in answering the question as you think about the people and tasks that you need to deal with today. You should also set your intention for the whole day. For example, you could make it your goal to be more patient with your fellow team members, eat a better meal, and finally make headway in your group project. It can be anything that you consider vital to your day.
Throughout the day, take a moment to check over yourself. Pause from any work that you are working on, take a deep breath, and revisit your intention. Observe as you become increasingly conscious of your intentions each day and how the quality of your communication, relationship, and emotions change.
There are times when people eat a delicious meal but don’t process the action behind the consumption of the food. Chances are they are distracted by something else going around them, such as attempting to multitask on their work or thinking about something that has recently happened. However, eating is one of the most pleasurable things people can engage in as human beings, and doing it mindfully, can turn eating into an exciting experience. Doing so not only satisfies our stomachs but our subtle senses and needs. Here are some ways to improve your eating mindfully.
Before you start eating, take a moment to take a deep breath. Most people tend to move from one task to another without taking a moment to pause. By stepping back and reflecting for a moment, you can slow down and allow for a calmer transition over the meals. Focus your attention inwards by closing your eyes, and start breathing steadily in and out of your stomach for eight to ten deep breaths before digging into the meal. :
Take a moment to listen to the way your body is responding to these activities. Once you have taken a deep breath, bring your attention to the physical sensation in your stomach. On a scale of one to ten, one being that you don’t feel any physical perception of hunger, and ten being that you are very hungry, pause and consider how hungry you are. What physical sensations tell you that you are hungry or not. For example, emptiness in the stomach, shakiness, no desire to consume a meal, growling stomach, and so forth. Don’t think about the last time you ate a meal or what time it currently is, and listen to your body instead.
Once you are in touch with your hunger levels, you need to mindfully decide on what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. This simple exercise will assist you in tuning into your actual needs. During your next meal, slow down and continue taking deep breaths as you eat. It can be challenging to digest or savor the food if your body is not relaxed.
Rewiring the brain
Recent studies have shown that most of our behavior is run on autopilot. The reason for this is due to our neural networks that underlie every aspect of our habits, reducing millions of sensory inputs per second into something more streamlined so we can function each passing day. The default brand signals are signaling so quickly and efficiently that they sometimes cause a person to relapse into old habits before we catch ourselves and do what we initially intended to do.
Mindfulness is considered the exact opposite of this process since it slows the brain down. It grants you control over yourself instead of allowing the body to run on autopilot. You will enable intentional actions, decisions, and willpower. However, to accomplish this feat, you need to practice mindfulness. The more a person activates the slow part of their brain, the more powerful it becomes. Every time you do something deliberate and new, the neuroplasticity is stimulated, activating the grey matter, which is full of newly grown neurons that have not been groomed for the fast part of our brain. If you are a therapist, then this should be a familiar theory.
However, there is a bit of a problem. While the slow brain is aware of what is best for you, the last part of your brain is encouraging you to take shortcuts. So, how can you trigger yourself to be more mindful when it is needed the most? That is when the idea of behavior designed comes into play. It’s a method that allows you to have the slow brain take over for a moment.
There are two ways you can pull this off. The first one involves slowing down the fast brain by obstructing its path, and the second requires removing any obstacles in the path of your slow brain so it can take over. Changing the balance trove your slow brain more access will take some time, but if you want to get started, here is what you need to do.
One way to get started is by tripping over what you wish to do. If you are planning to perform some yoga exercises or meditation, play your mat or cushion in the middle of the floor so you can’t miss it when you walk past it. Another way is to refresh your triggers frequently. For example, let’s say you decide to use post notes to remind yourself of a new intention. That method could work for a short while, but then your fast brain and previous behavior take over once again. Consider writing new notes and add variety or make them amusing, so they stick out to you for a longer period.
Lastly, you could consider trying out a series of “if this, then that” messages to build easy reminders to change into your slow brain. For example, let's say you come up with, “if at the office desk, then deep breath,” as a way to change into mindfulness as you are about to get started on your workday. Another idea would be to take a deep breath before answering an incoming phone call. These intentional actions to change into a more mindfulness setting will empower your slow brain.
Mindfulness exercises will ensure that you and your remote workers manage to improve your mental state. These improvements in mental health will allow everyone to work at their best and remain mentally healthy. It also allows them to endure the days where things go wrong instead of causing them to become overwhelmed by the troubles impacting them. Exercise these mindfulness techniques with your remote workers and see how much everyone improves over time.