blog with Amy

All in a days work – how mindfulness helps us manage stress in the workplace

So lets define mindfulness as simply, knowing what we are doing, while we are doing it. Being aware generally of what we are thinking and feeling, being able to observe thoughts arise in our minds and feelings that permeate through our bodies. Why might this be useful in a work context? Work for many of us can be a great arena for practising mindfulness as from my own experience and the experience of many friends and clients it can be a space that offers a lot of opportunities to feel angry, frustrated, disempowered and stressed. There are a range factors that cause these experiences, external factors, people/conditions, internal factors – perceptions, relationship to experience. What doesn’t alter regardless of the ‘why’ is that it is happening and it doesn’t feel good.

Mindfulness practice gives us the tools to respond to thoughts and feelings that feel difficult and unpleasant. It gives us a framework to relate to difficulty and hold space for our experience. This holding space can enable us to lessen the negative impact on our day to day lives and provides an opportunity to make changes which may decrease the likelihood of continuing to feel these difficult thoughts and feelings in the future through practising a different response.

How to?

So let us take a scenario shared recently by a friend.

“my new manager is a nightmare, they keep asking me for information out of nowhere, I’m in the middle of working on other priorities and I get a message asking for information on something totally unrelated, there is no context, it feels like a demand, it also makes me feel really anxious as I don’t know why they are asking and I feel like I am being checked up on”

So how can mindfulness help?

The approach and behaviour of the manager is leading the friend to feel very insecure and unhappy at work. So how can mindfulness practice help them? First of all we need to know a little more information. there is a lot here and a lot of thoughts going on in the person’s head about the manager and their intentions….

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