How to practice mindfulness at work by Dr. Stephen McKenzie



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By Tasnuva Bindi

Psychology professor, Dr. Stephen McKenzie, recently completed Mindfulness at Work, a book offering a range of techniques and insights that help people manage their work lives better.   

With over 20 years of experience in teaching and researching psychology topics such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse, Dr. McKenzie realised the necessity of writing a book that offers people a powerful antidote to the stresses of their working lives, especially as 30 percent of Australians suffer from work-related stress.

He said that sometimes there isn’t a clear distinction between clinical conditions and conditions that we all face on a daily basis.

With work having a significant impact on our life happiness; resulting in either deep fulfillment or misery and depression, the practice of mindfulness – focusing our attention of what we’re doing, rather than being distracted by what we’re not doing – can have a powerful effect on our productivity, decision-making skills, and ability to manage stress.

“Being fully mindful means tuning into reality – what we’re experiencing right here and right now – [and] fully connecting with our work, and accepting what we’re connected to,” said Dr. McKenzie.

By engaging in mindfulness exercises, we reintroduce fun into our working lives, and the ability to enjoy success.

“I could quote from sensible and serious sources to illustrate this, but just for fun, I’ll quote from Mary Poppins – ‘In every job that’s to be done, there’s an element of fun!’ The fun comes when we let go of our rigid attachments and fears and allow our natural happiness and creativity to help us to do what we do,” said Dr. McKenzie.

Here are Dr. McKenzie’s top tips on managing stress at work:

1. Start everything you do in stillness, and any work you do afterwards will automatically be mindful, enjoyable, stress free and productive.

2. Do what needs to be done, not what you think needs to be done. This comes from really listening to who you are working with and for, and not the voices in your head telling you what you think needs to be done.

3. Give your full attention to everything you do. Try a ‘mindfulness at work’ experiment – that is, do a job you don’t like, or one that you’ve been repeatedly putting off, and do it with your full attention.

Mindfulness at Work by Dr. Stephen McKenzie will be available in July in all good book stores and online at www.exislepublishing.com.

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