It's Monday morning you walk into the office the phone is already ringing, the email inbox is filling, and you walk by your mail slot and see mail billowing out of the box. A coworker sees you in the hall and stops to ask you, "just a quick question." You return to your desk, open your calendar to see you only have 30 minutes before the first of four back-to-back meetings begins. You know now that all hope for managing your workload for the day appears lost.
Right then you notice that you feel your shoulders get tight, your stomach clench up in knots, and an overwhelming desire to leave and take a permanent vacation.
It's another typical Monday in your business, but it doesn't have to be.
According to Gallup's 2010-2012 State of the American Workplace study, 70 percent of people are mentally disengaged from their jobs. Gallup estimates that this is status quo and contributing to holding back the growth of the economy, costing the U.S. between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity each year. The social costs are even harder to measure. The single greatest contributor to chronic illness is prolonged periods of stress and the leading source of stress is primarily stress at work that sometimes feels dehumanizing, un-enjoyable, and meaningless, to the point of anger and frustration.
It is time to give your self, your employees, and/or coworkers permission to co-create a new consciousness in business. Where "meaningless" can become "mindful." Mindful means many things to different people. In essence, mindfulness is to be present without any judgment to what is happening in that exact moment, observing it, and choosing compassionately how to react to it.
The practice of mindfulness in business creates a clear vision for both short-term and long-term profitability and the overall happiness of those who work in and with your company and/or business.
Here are seven things you can choose to become mindful even on the most stressful day
1. Accept the authenticity of your feelings in the moment. Feel your feelings fully, and allow yourself to recognize that this is how you feel in this moment, without self-judgment for having those feelings.
2. Breathe in and out. Focusing on feeling the air come in your nose and out of your mouth. Repeat this several times.
3. Ask for help. Don't assume people around you are too busy or unwilling to help. Asking for assistance from another might just empower them to demonstrate their value by lending a hand.
4. Choose compassion toward yourself. You wouldn't demean or put someone down if they are struggling, why would you do that to yourself? When you take a moment to realize just how wonderful, capable and amazing you really are, you inspire others to show compassion toward themselves, and it becomes reciprocal.
5. Say and repeat a mantra that inspires you. One of my favorites is, "Success is all I see. Success is all I feel. Success is all I know in my business and my life." Sometimes I will retreat to a private area and repeat my mantra out loud a few times. Taking the time to do that brings me back to the realization that all is well, and what I am saying is affirming the true reality of what is happening now.
6. Engage in Visualization. More than merely taping photos on a board of what you desire in life, take a moment to imagine and feel what having and/or being those things would be like, right now. There was a time when I visualized writing and publishing a book with my name on the spine. I even took action toward my vision and created a mockup of a book and then visualized signing them for audience members after I gave a talk. It wasn't long after that when my vision became my actual life experience.
7. Express Gratitude -- for everything! Sometimes we are only focused on all those things that keep us off-centered, distracted, and stressed out. It is possible to have gratitude for the phone calls, emails, presentations, reports, meetings, and deadlines? I am absolutely certain there is someone on the planet that wishes they could have the perception of "problems" you have. Be grateful in this very moment and recognize the blessings in your life to include the "problems".
Mindfulness does not have to be difficult; it can be quite easy and become a regular way of being with practice and tenacity. I encourage you to select one of these practices and try it once each day. Then observe the positive results that come from giving yourself compassion, saying your mantra, breathing in and out with awareness, and sharing gratitude.
America's largest companies are beginning to incorporate the practice of mindfulness: SalesForce, Target, Proctor & Gamble, and Google to name a few. Mindfulness is contributes to their productivity and profitability.
Choose one practice for a month and let me know how it works for you. firstname.lastname@example.org