As everyone who has ever held down a job knows – work can be stressful. The tension you feel does nothing to help your professional performance, either.
But you don’t have to fall victim to your unending nerves — you can fight back in the most peaceful way possible. And, once you master the personal practices of mindfulness and meditation, bringing those same philosophies into the workplace can make the whole operation calmer and smoother.
Here are four of the biggest lessons to learn and reapply to your professional life.
1. Exude quiet confidence.
As you’ll learn from your mindfulness practice, there’s no need to shout about your achievements or struggles. Instead, you can quietly reflect on them and figure out ways to replicate or avoid them in the future.
Of course, in business, you can’t use quite the same methodology — you need to present and promote yourself somehow. You can learn to do so with quiet confidence, rather than boasting about your company’s merits and using pushy sales tactics to gain new clients.
Instead, talk about your accomplishments in other ways: Start a blog or podcast through which you can spread the word about your work. You can also provide others with valuable information about the industry, which could even draw potential clients to your website organically. As you gain followers and become a voice in the industry, you’ll be marketing your company without making an obvious effort.
No matter what you share on social media, make sure it’s not only helpful but optimistic and positive too. But it’s important to be authentic. If you’re not feeling particularly positive or optimistic, you can share this or keep it to yourself. As long are you are mindful of the impacts if you decide to share or don’t share.
2. Share knowledge with others.
You’re only one person. No matter how mindful you are — and how much that affects your workplace performance — you probably won’t be able to change the entire office with your self-improvements.
So, make a point to share the tenets you’ve learned with your colleagues, especially those who seem the most stressed in their day-to-day lives. Try to find the right time to share these types of tips and tricks, so your recipients will welcome them rather than dismiss them. If your approach is too heavyhanded or forceful you may not get the outcome you desire so tread carefully.
Related Post: A Journey to Mindfulness
One method for doing so could be an in-office mentoring program. In most cases, mentoring encourages more experienced employees to shape and facilitate the careers of newer staff members. There are many benefits to this type of program, but perhaps the most important one is that a mentor can quickly pinpoint the areas in which a colleague can improve.
In your case, you might be able to teach mindfulness methods to make the job easier and less stressful for the employee you’re mentoring. And, as the program grows, you and your protégés can share those tips with more and more people, thus making the entire workplace more mindful.
3. Be in the moment.
No matter what you do or where you work, there will be moments where you allow yourself to get distracted. This might be a full-on distraction, avoiding your actual to-dos for a phone call with a visit to a social media site instead. Or, you could be mentally distracted while going through the motions, which means you’re still not fully concentrating and are less productive on the job.
Mindfulness is all about acknowledging, accepting and restructuring your thoughts. In doing so, you can sharpen your focus in the present moment, instead of dwelling on what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. With this type of clarity, you’ll find yourself accomplishing more during your workday. You might just feel more creatively inspired too, as your concentration improves.
Improving your mindfulness and meditative practices means you can slip a quick session into your workday to realign yourself if you feel you’re falling off track. You could suggest to your manager(s) that the office could use a dedicated meditation area and explain the benefits it might have for everyone. Or, learn ways to subtly meditate: It’s possible to do it with your eyes open, for example.
4. Show Graciousness
We’ve already covered the fact that you can share your mindfulness expertise with others to elevate your entire workplace. In a similar vein, you can be more giving to colleagues and clients to create similar vibes.
Most businesses give away free things with an intent to promote their products or services. For example, you might have had to provide an email address to access a particular shop’s discount or a website’s news articles. This tradeoff allows the company to communicate with you, which is ultimately more valuable to them than anything else.
But giving away tips, tricks or even products without any intention of getting something in return is a much better way to operate. Mindfulness teaches us to share with others — that good karma will always come back around to you. So, giving colleagues and customers a valuable tidbit without expecting anything in return is a helpful practice to get into, for your own good and the good of your professional career.
Once you’ve begun to learn the foundations of mindfulness, all you have left to do is implement them in your daily life — working hours included. Once you do, you’ll realize how much better you feel, how you lift up those around you and how much they want to learn your secret. And, with that, mindfulness will become part of your company culture, making everyone who works with you better because of it.