For those of us in the northern hemisphere our summer holidays are coming to an end. School may be starting for your young ones.
This may be a time to re-engage at work, and perhaps get some major projects finished.
This time of year can be a time of excitement, however, it can also bring with it some work-time blues.
In fact, a recent report from Gallup found that 70 percent of Americans report feeling unhappy, uninspired and less engaged in their job.
The good news is that Mindfulness practices have been linked to activating parts of the brain correlated with constructs of well-being such as happiness, joy and enhanced self awareness.
Here are 3 simple mindfulness practices to try out and boost your happiness at work:
1. Make a list of three good things that happened in your day.
‘Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.’ – Eckhart Tolle
One method for learning to be happier, recommended by the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM), is engaging in daily tasks that are simple, easy, and rewarding.
One example is the idea of making a list of at least three good things that happened in your day. They can be anything from a really good cup of coffee or a compliment from your boss.
When you are focusing on the positive aspects of your work, you start to feel happier. What we focus on grows. So take notice of the simple joys and victories and notice how more of these types of moments flourish in your life.
2. Practice compassion toward yourself.
‘The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.’ – William James
We’re our own worst critics. The way we talk to ourselves has a major impact on how we feel. Being a little self-critical is okay, but most of us experience it all too often. Self-critical talk can get in the way of creativity and dampen inspiration.
While you are at work, see if you can notice when you are being overly critical and instead cultivate compassion for yourself.
When you hear that all-to-familiar critical voice in your head, in that moment, start listing a few things you like about yourself instead.
3. Relax your nervous system.
‘Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.’ – Etty Hillesum
We live in a world that is more rapid than ever.
That is why it is important to literally relax your body a few times a day.
To do this: Take a deep breath, scan your body, and soften and stretch the muscles that are tense.
For those who need a reminder, consider setting an alarm that alerts you to look up from your computer, and to breathe and stretch, throughout your day.
What to do next?
Try out one or more of these practices. You’ll be surprised how much they can help.