It took a drastic awakening to open my eyes to the power of presence in the workplace and in my daily life. Eight years ago this March I received a call that would change my life path forever, all while engulfed in my daily to do’s. That call instantly changed my path on the journey called life, when I found out that a tragic accident had taken the life of my sister.
I was living in a self-absorbed bubble which suddenly had burst, and this equated to a drastic transformation.
I felt urged after that to help others who were experiencing stress and anxiety in the workplace to regain their own personal presence and power.
Everyday I empathize with corporates navigating stress in the workplace because I was one of them; I spent a large portion in the corporate world operating on ‘auto-pilot’, doing what needs to be done but giving less unintentionally than I was capable off. I was operating at lower capacity and didn’t even realize I was so far from my full potential in my interactions with colleagues and clients in the workplace.
Yoga and meditation are tools to help you get better at what you do. By practicing short and effective mindful practices you enhance your focus, creativity, positivity, efficiency and control.
And this in turn will allow your productivity to flourish in your workplace environment and also create a positive shift with more presence and enjoyment through your daily workplace duties.
When the cortisol levels in the body rise we experience stress due to an imbalance in the body physically, mentally and emotionally. These shifts cause us to become reactive, shut down or function at low capacity. Did you know that stress is now linked to disease? When the stress hormone rises the body looses its ability to regulate the inflammatory response, which leads to become easier to get sick.
2012 Louisiana State University study showed ‘How Emotional Stress can change brain function’, and it concluded that: “a single exposure to acute stress affected cerebellum” (the part of the brain responsible for motor control, movement and coordination as well as learning and memory function).
So how does Yoga and Mindfulness create a shift in the workplace?
Mindfulness is the act of being in a present centered attention and living in the now fully connected. When in this state, we optimize how we function. The best way to explain mindfulness is it’s the exact opposite of forgetfulness. You are highly clear and sharp when in a mindful state.
Yoga is the act of moving in a present state with awareness to the body, mind fluctuations and the breath. It is the unification of all three physical body realms.
The simple act of taking a deep breath helps our body relax and increases circulation to the body and brain. Essentially it is this act that helps us STOP and think before we react. So the next time you get an email that stirs up emotion in you, that shifts your mood from happy to frustrated or overwhelmed, or upset you, you have two choices: respond from that state of elevated emotion, or simply stop, take a few deep breaths, disengage for a moment, and then take the best decision based on a clear, sharp state of mind.
These shifts in perspective are available to anyone and are the benefit of practicing Yoga, meditation and mindfulness in the workplace.
Companies are turning to these practices to boost the bottom line, as stress shuts down the creative thinking brain, which leads to profitable ideas. Top companies such as Google are using mindfulness and yoga to:
- Improve focus on tasks and projects
- Increase creativity
- Enhance teamwork ad leadership
- Decrease absintessium
- Create greater efficiency, control and stability in all tasks
We are now in a culture where we have to take charge of our reactivity, our stress and our anxiety to stay healthy and improve our functionality. Start with simple mindfulness practices such as gazing at the trees from the office window, taking a short walk on your break, moving through a chair or desk yoga session at work, and you will give yourself the gift of health by stabilizing the increase of stress hormones.
After all the foundation and success of all society starts with the people. When the people of an organization are healthy and happy this is mirrored in their work, productivity improves, stress decreases, leadership soars and the whole society becomes healthier and happier.