Picture this: You were up late with a sick child last night and overslept your alarm by 30 minutes, this morning. You dash into work 45 minutes late and your anxiety is through the roof, but you give it your best effort to act calm on the outside. You’re aware that your boss is fuming, and your teammates are disgruntled because you were key to the discussion.
After the meeting, you walk outside to decompress, only to be inundated with texts from both work and home. You implode as you weigh your impossible choices. Life is running away from you, and you can’t remember the last time you felt in control of anything.
If you relate to any part of the scene above, you aren’t alone. In a survey from the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health America, 83% of today’s workers are experiencing signs of burnout, with demands of the work domain spilling over into demands of the personal life domain.
By learning the simple and accessible techniques provided in Mindfulness for the Workplace, you can find respite from life’s inevitable frustrations and create a better work experience with practical, evidence-based solutions from our expert Wendy Quan—author, entrepreneur, and pioneer in workplace mindfulness.
As Wendy makes clear, mindfulness is not a way to zone out, be blissful, or avoid life’s challenges; nor is it about passive acceptance of your difficulties. It’s a tool to lean into life’s ups and downs in a conscious, healthy way. The potential benefits are many, including effective stress management and more enjoyment of life.
Wendy discovered and used mindfulness and meditation as a primary source of strength to get through a series of devastating crises in her life. Stunned by its effectiveness, she now trains and certifies others to do the same in the workplace.
With this insightful and engaging 12-lesson course, you will pick up tools to create a better experience for yourself at work and in life, no matter what your current circumstances are or what the future might hold.
Find Calm and Composure in Any Situation
But what exactly is mindfulness? And is it the same as meditation? If you’re picturing people sitting cross-legged on the floor with blank minds and chanting with blissful smiles on their faces, you may misunderstand what mindfulness practice looks like.
While meditation is integral to creating mindfulness, it has nothing to do with emptying your mind. Rather, you can think of it as a pause button in your day, a time to concentrate on your breath, an image, or a word.
There are many types of meditation styles employing several techniques such as visualizations, imagery, and even moving meditations such as walking, tai chi, and yoga. This course focuses on a secular, non-spiritual approach that anyone from any walk of life can incorporate.
Five key traits of mindfulness will be reiterated throughout the lessons in a practical, applicable way. Those traits are:
- Presence—Placing yourself in the present moment and not worrying about the past or future.
- Awareness—Noticing what you are experiencing within you and around you.
- Non-judgment—Not getting caught up in a stream of likes and dislikes and recognizing when you are judging.
- Being with what is—Accepting that your situation is happening, so you can move forward.
- Kindness—Both toward yourself and others, an excellent way to check your words and actions is to ask yourself—Is it kind? Is it true? Is it helpful?
Learn Simple Techniques Anyone Can Do
Throughout the course, expert Wendy will guide you to try different breathing and thinking techniques that have the potential to immediately decrease your stress and increase your awareness.
An example of a simple and direct technique you can employ when facing tough interactions is the S.T.O.P. technique:
S—Stop what you’re doing
T—Take a breath
O—Observe what’s going on in and around you
P—Proceed to your next action with intention
These methods are simple and easy and can be done anywhere, even in the presence of others. The only rule you need to keep in mind is to let go of your expectations and judgment for each session. There is no right or wrong here, only your experience. In fact, the best way is to approach your practice as a beginner every time.
How to Deal with Difficult People
This course will equip you to handle one of the biggest sources of frustration for many: other people. Researchers estimate that unresolved conflicts are a factor in at least half of voluntary departures from jobs.
Even if you have a decent handle on your inner composure, you cannot control the actions and behavior of others. However, you can control your reaction to them, which changes how you feel. Wendy demonstrates how infusing your interactions with mindfulness can completely transform your experience with difficult people.
Your Life Is an Adventure
Life is amazing. And then, it’s awful. And then, it’s amazing, again. In between the amazing and the awful, life can be ordinary, mundane, and routine. But we are here to engage in the human experience.
What most of us don’t always understand is that we have the power to make this experience a great one for ourselves, if we can rise above our day-to-day struggles to see that they are just part of life and eventually will pass.
When you integrate mindfulness practice into your daily routine, you’ll begin to recognize life as an adventure, so that you don’t rush through it and wonder later where all the years went.
Here are a few of the benefits you may get from cultivating mindfulness:
- Reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression;
- Increased resilience;
- Fewer negative and ruminating thoughts;
- Lower blood pressure and rewiring your brain in healthy ways; and
- Clearer thinking, better decision-making, and more creativity.
Many people find that mindfulness makes such a big difference in their lives that they often feel called to spread this knowledge to others. Knowing this, Wendy also devotes a lesson from this series to lay out ideas and best practices for setting up your own mindfulness group and then shares mistakes to avoid.
With our inspiring series Mindfulness for the Workplace, Wendy will equip you with every tool you need to reduce stress, handle people better, and have a better work-life balance, even if your workload stays the same.
You, too, can be empowered to transform your life by simply pausing during your day to focus and breathe.