Mindfulness at Work: Setting Intention to Maintain Calm
Medically reviewed by Vara Saripalli, Psy.D. — By Jenna Fletcher
Mindfulness is being present at the moment without judgment and acknowledging your emotions without feeling overwhelmed or critical. It allows you to focus on what you’re doing and block out obsessive thoughts or distractions.
But these descriptions are just scratching the surface of what mindfulness is and what goes into actually becoming mindful of your environment. Mindfulness often requires practice and meditation — among other techniques — to help retrain your mind to block out distractions and focus on the moment.
In practice, mindfulness allows you to be more purposeful in what you’re doing. By focusing on the present task, you can become more productive and potentially reduce stress, and feel more fulfilled in the workplace.
What is mindfulness in the workplace?
Mindfulness involves being present in the moment without worrying about either the past or the future. It involves not judging what is going on around you, but instead observing it and responding in a calm, rational way.
Mindfulness in the workplace may help you to:
- see what is going on around you
- avoid judgement
- approach your work and relationship with others without bias
For example, when you’re mindful of what you’re doing, you may take a deep breath and then focus on completing a spreadsheet until you get it done.
It can allow you to move through it with fewer distractions and likely get it done faster, allowing you to focus on other tasks or alleviate stress.
When you don’t practice mindfulness the same spreadsheet may take longer to complete because instead of focusing on the task at hand, you may be:
- thinking about your weekend plans
- worried about all the other things you need to do
- wondering why your boss or co-workers could not get the same work done
In other words, you get distracted by what might happen and what happened before you got the assignment. The distraction slows down your work, which could lead to falling behind, feeling stressed, or other possible consequences.