It is very important to be in tune and mindful of the one activity you spend the majority of your adult life doing… Work. As a lot of the days activities may have negative connotations (too much to do with too little time, naggy coworkers, daunting tasks), there is a way to bring peace throughout a chaotic day…
Below are 12 tips that The Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, who is credited with being the father of mindfulness in the West, has developed to ensure not only that we stay in balance but also are able to see our work in the context of creating a better world:
- Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.
- Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.
- Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.
- Try not to divide your time into “my time” and “work.” All time can be your own time if you stay in the present moment and keep in touch with what’s happening in your body and mind. There’s no reason why your time at work should be any less pleasant than your time anywhere else.
- Resist the urge to make calls on your cell phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.
- Arrange a breathing area at work where you can go to calm down, stop and have a rest. Take regular breathing breaks to come back to your body and to bring your thoughts back to the present.
- At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Change environments. Go for a walk.
- Make a ritual out of drinking your tea. Stop work and look deeply into your tea to see everything that went into making it: the clouds and the rain, the tea plantations and the workers harvesting the tea.
- Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful and skillful being with you. Take refuge in this person to help stay calm and peaceful.
- If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.
- Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success.
- At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.