A Mindful “High Five” to Reduce Workplace Stress

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How can five minutes transform your life in the workplace and at home? When I was a hiring manager, I was trained to look for people who were multi-taskers when looking for office personnel for our dental offices and later, career schools. I noticed, even back then before I embraced mindful meditation as a part of my life and career, that the strongest candidate very often was not the multi-tasker, but the one who displayed focus. Today I would call this individual more then focused but “ mindful.” Someone who is mindful stays present in the moment, what is called a state of “Being.” shutterstock_205958422

These “mindful” employees  were more efficient at their work due to the fact they could focus and prioritize the task at hand. That is not to say that they could not multi-task at times, they could, but they did not allow the distractions of their environment to take away the importance of what was happening at that moment. The truly mindful employees did something else, they stayed calm under demanding circumstances.

Our brains were not meant to do several things at once, they were meant to focus on the task at hand. Being mindful is more then being present in the moment, it is staying centered within oneself which creates a state of calm. So, how does one learn how to be mindful? By practicing Mindful Meditation which can be done just five minutes a day and can be done anywhere, anytime, even at your desk.

Stress in the workplace is increasing as we advance into the 21st Century. Chronic illness due to stress is increasing so much so that many insurance companies call Healthcare, “ Sick Care.” This increase in chronic illness is costing the American workplace billions of dollars in healthcare, lost productivity, and high absenteeism. Stress also takes an enormous toll on one’s personal life often causing relationships to break down or break apart. Often, the stress from both the workplace and home become intertwined as demands of parenting, caring for senior parents, and personal life crisis conflict with problems at work.

Meditation is an ancient and effective way to lower your stress levels at no cost to you other than your personal time, often just five minutes a day. And since we have become a country of poor time managers who rely way too much on medications to ease stress, many balk at learning, or sticking with, a meditation practice with this often used phrase, “ I’m too busy.”

Learning meditation takes a shift in thinking away from the ingrained, conditioned environment that says medication is the only way to combat stress. That just makes the drug companies richer and you sicker. To see how easy mindful meditation can be, watch this brief slideshow from Wiley Publishers on “Ten Ways to Be More Mindful at Work.” You will learn more about what Mindful Meditation is and how it affects us in the workplace . They even include short meditation exercises to do at your desk and home which creates “awareness” of how our thoughts impact our emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.

As someone who triggered a chronic illness from workplace stress, I went off all medications as well as decreased the symptoms and flare ups of my disease after I developed a meditation practice. I now enjoy a healthier, happier lifestyle that included a positive career change helping people get well emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Five minutes a day now is an hour a day or more for me personally. It was when I decided to take control of my health, that I decided that I was not too busy to take five minutes out of my day to learn mindful meditation. Five minutes a day began the journey that transformed  my life like a butterfly. All it took was five minutes of my time day to take my new wings and fly.

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