10 Steps to help stay present, positive and aware at work

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Be present at workAs many people know, being aware of the present moment is key to staying connected to your inner self and maintaining a positive outlook. But staying in the present moment is often easier said than done. Especially when we leave the comfort and control of our homes and enter one of the most challenging environments known to enlightenment…the workplace!

The biggest challenge for most people is how to stay positive when you work in a “less-than-positive” environment? No matter how relaxing your weekend has been, regardless how much yoga and meditation you’ve done Friday night through Sunday night, nothing can challenge your positive ‘zen’ feelings like a serious case of the Mondays.

Here are 10 tips to help start your workday right and keep that positive energy flowing throughout the day.

1.) Start your morning on a grateful note. You should always start every morning with positive thoughts of gratitude. This will help remind you all you have to be happy about and what you plan on achieving in your life. Write down a positive mantra and leave it where you will see it when you wake up. It doesn’t need to be long or complex. Something simple and to-the-point works best, just make it specific to your life. Every morning when you get up, take a moment and read your mantra to yourself. This will help start your day on a positive note.

2.) Avoid TV, radio and social media before breakfast.  If you are someone that reaches for your alarm first and your smartphone second, try and fight the urge. It’s better to wait until later in the morning to update yourself on all that you missed while asleep.  Avoid watching the news, listening to news radio or even checking social media websites until your morning is well under way. If you start your day listening to negative thoughts and ideas, either from friends or the media, it will only serve to generate negative thoughts and emotions in you. It is far better to listen to uplifting music or the silence of the morning.

3.) Make time to meditate. I cannot stress enough how important meditation is to the human body, mind and spirit. A simple 20 minutes of meditation to start your day can help set the tone for a relaxing, present day. It is also beneficial to end your day with another meditative session. This will allow you to fall asleep faster and wake more rested.

4.) Don’t be in the office before you leave the house. Many people spend their morning thinking about everything they have to do when they get to work. This is a bad habit. Being present is all about being aware of the present moment. Focus on what it is you are doing during the moment you are doing it. If you are in the shower, be aware of the shower. Feel the water on your skin, the smell of the shampoo, the patterns of the water drops as they roll down the shower curtain. Keep your attention on every detail of everything you do. If you notice your thoughts drifting to what it is you have to do when you get to work, be aware that your attention is on the future, and re-direct it back onto the present moment.

5.) Focus on one task at a time while at work. Many of us have a ‘to do’ list that haunts us throughout our day. No matter how good you are at your job, you can only do one thing at a time. Make yourself a physical list of the things you need to do throughout the day. Once you have your list, select one item and focus on that one task. As you work on that task, do not think about the next item on your list, or on the existence of the list at all. Keep all your attention on the one thing you are doing right now. Most of us tend to let our mind wander, either onto the next thing we need to do or onto how many hours it is until 5pm. By keeping your attention on a single task, you will find that you are more thorough in what you do, often completing the task quicker than expected. If you are interrupted with another request, simply focus your attention on this new request, complete it, and then focus your attention back onto the task you were working on before you were interrupted. Do not get frustrated or upset that you’ve been interrupted by a new request. Frustration only comes when you are doing one thing but wishing you were doing another. Always keep your attention on one thing at a time.

6.) Take a break and get out of the office. If you can, take your lunch break and leave work completely. This means both physically and mentally. Go for a walk outside, breathe fresh air, feel the sun and wind on your face. But most importantly, leave your job behind. Unplug from the office and give your mind a break. Take a 20-minute walk just for the sake of walking. Walk slow and with intention. Be aware of each step as you take it. A destination is not required. Simply walk for the sake of walking. This will allow your brain to rest and recharge, allowing for continued focus when you return.

7.) Avoid office gossip. It is easy to get sucked into the bonding practice of complaining about your job with co-workers. As tempting as it might be, this type of negative talk only works to breed more negativity. If you work in an environment where negative talk is commonplace, always attempt to remove yourself from the conversation without placing judgment on either the people talking or the people they are talking about. It may be hard to remember but everyone is doing their best in life based on their level of consciousness… including your boss.

8.) Always remember… Q-TIP. Quit Taking It Personally. Remember that the being you are is not defined by the job you do. You are far more than anything you do while having this human experience. A job is simply another activity for you to experience. Do not take criticism, direction, orders, requests, feedback or lack of respect personally.  If someone is disrespectful to you at work, it says more about where they are on their journey than it does about you. Always view others with compassion, even when they are not being nice to you.

9.) Remember to breathe. As you work through your day try and keep some focus on your breathing. Try to be aware of each breath in and out, even as you do other things. Deep, aware breathing helps to align your physical and mental states. You can’t take a breath in the past or the future, only in the present moment. So if you are aware of your breath, you are aware of the present moment.

10.) Leave the office at the office. As you leave your job for the day, make sure you don’t bring it home with you. Don’t run through the events of the day in your mind after you’ve left. Pretend you don’t even have a job once you leave. That part of the day is in the past. Leave it in the past. Focus all your awareness on what it is you are doing now that work is over. Much of the stress people feel towards their job comes because they are mentally at work 24/7. Leave the office at the office.

Namaste

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