A Guide to Mindfulness at Work

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Mindfulness essentially means moment-to-moment awareness. Although it originated in the Buddhist tradition, you don’t have to be Buddhist to reap its benefits. This description explains the basic philosophy:

When you are mindful…You become keenly aware of yourself and your surroundings, but you simply observe these things as they are. You are aware of your own thoughts and feelings, but you do not react to them in the way that you would if you were on “autopilot”. By not labeling or judging the events and circumstances taking place around you, you are freed from your normal tendency to react to them.

Mindfulness Meditation
Many people immediately associate mindfulness with insight meditation, which starts by focusing on the breath. In, out. In, out. When your mind wanders, notice where it goes (e.g., to-do list, a distressing conversation, etc.) and then bring your attention back to your breath. You don't resist your mind’s natural urge to wander, but train it to return to the present. By settling into your body and noticing how it feels, you center yourself in the moment you’re living, too.

Other Mindfulness Exercises
Mindfulness includes a broad spectrum of informal activities in addition to meditation. Here are a few simple techniques that you can incorporate every day, even at work:

  • Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing - just being
  • Get in touch with your senses by noticing the temperature of your skin and background sounds around you
  • Pay attention to your walking by slowing your pace and feeling the ground against your feet

Mindfulness Benefits
Mindfulness enhances emotional intelligence, notably self-awareness and the capacity to manage distressing emotions. It also delivers these measurable benefits:

  • Reduced stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved memory
  • Less anxiety

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.