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Alcohol and Mental Health

How To Practice Mindfulness at Work

July 11, 2023
8 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 11, 2023
8 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 11, 2023
8 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 11, 2023
8 min read
Reframe App LogoReframe App Logo
Reframe Content Team
July 11, 2023
8 min read

It's a common narrative that work environments are hives of productivity and efficiency, where the only option is to continuously forge ahead. But does working nonstop truly lead to better output? Not quite. In fact, our brains actually require periodic short breaks to function at their best.

Sometimes, the real key to enhancing workplace performance lies not in working harder but in working smarter — and mindfulness is a vital part of this equation.

What Is Mindfulness, and How Can It Help at Work?

Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing our attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. Research has consistently shown that mindfulness can decrease stress, increase focus, and improve emotional well - being — all qualities that are beneficial in the workplace. Furthermore, practicing mindfulness at work can provide much-needed mental clarity and stress relief, reducing the likelihood of turning to maladaptive coping mechanisms such as habitual alcohol use.

Let’s explore six ways to practice mindfulness in the workplace.

1. Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing is one of the most straightforward mindfulness techniques, and it serves as a helpful starting point. By focusing on the inhale and exhale, we create a mental anchor that brings our attention back to the present. This can be particularly useful during a high-stress situation or when feelings of anxiety related to an upcoming deadline or presentation might surface. We can take just a couple of minutes to sit back, close our eyes, and deeply inhale and exhale. Our breath serves as an ever-present tool that we can tap into at any moment.

2. Mindful Observation

This practice involves focusing on our immediate surroundings to cultivate awareness. Choose an object within sight — a piece of furniture, a potted plant, a pack of sticky notes — and consciously note its color, texture, and form. This simple act of observation can serve as a mental palate cleanser, refocusing our energy on the task at hand and reducing work-related stress. By redirecting our attention onto something else, we are practicing the art of detachment.

3. Mindful Listening

During meetings or conversations, it's easy to let our minds wander, planning what we’re going to say next or thinking about our next task. Mindful listening encourages us to fully engage with the person speaking, soaking in their words, tone, and nonverbal cues. This practice enhances communication, fosters empathy, and builds better workplace relationships. By allowing others to feel heard, we make space for greater trust. This can benefit us on both a personal and professional level.

4. Mindful Eating

How often do we eat lunch at our desk, barely tasting what we're consuming? Mindful eating invites us to savor each bite, noting the food’s texture, flavor, and aroma. This practice not only enhances the enjoyment of our meal but also fosters a healthier relationship with food. Take your full lunch break and use this time to be present with your meal, allowing it to nourish you from the inside out.

5. Mindful Movement

Whether it's a stretch at our desk or a walk during our lunch break, integrating mindful movement into our workday can help clear our minds and reduce physical stress. By paying attention to how our body feels during these movements, we become more attuned to our physical needs. We also reduce the likelihood of musculoskeletal issues, such as a stiff neck or achy wrists.

6. Creating a Mindful Workspace

Our physical environment plays a significant role in our mental state. A cluttered desk might lead to a cluttered mind. By organizing our workspace and including elements like plants or calming images, we can create a more serene environment that promotes mindfulness. As we clear our external space, we might find that our internal space — our thoughts and emotions concerning alcohol consumption and various work-related stressors — becomes clearer as well.

Incorporating these mindful habits into our workday won't necessarily take extra time out of our schedule; they simply invite us to perform the tasks we’re already doing in a more present, conscious way.

Mindfulness: A Powerful Tool in Our Professional Toolbox

Being able to access a state of mindfulness at work can transform the way we engage with our tasks, our coworkers, and ourselves. Cultivating mindfulness can serve as a crucial component of our self-care strategy, providing a refuge of calm in the hustle and bustle of the workday. The sense of ease we build into our workday can also carry over into our lives at home, allowing us to change our relationship with alcohol more effectively.

So, next time we find ourselves overwhelmed by the demands of work, let’s take a moment to pause, breathe, and bring our attention back to the present. In this way, we're not just surviving our workday — we're thriving within it!

Master the Art of Mindfulness With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol.

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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