Man sitting at desk in a mindful pose with hands out

How Mindful Are You? Five Tips to Stressing Less at the Office

Ever had one of those weeks where you just cannot seem to knock something off the to-do list without five more tasks taking its place? Or is that just me?

Everyone in the marketing and communications industry experiences these times where projects pile up and there just doesn’t seem to be enough minutes in the day. This can cause us to stress out, which is not healthy for our minds or bodies.

At our recent HCK2 University, we learned about mindfulness from Melissa Marks Garner, a corporate wellness consultant who specializes in the art of meditation. My first time meditating was at this session and it was a game changer for me. I learned how to be mindful in everything we do, take time to pause and reflect, and ultimately just be in the moment.

I’m the first to admit I can let stress get the best of me when things get busy at work. However, I’m changing my mindset and using these tips from Melissa every day to be more mindful and purposeful with my actions and thinking.

1. Take Five

When times seem tough, take one minute for yourself to take five deep breaths. In just one minute, your brain can shift from a fight or flight mode to a rest and digest manner. This allows you to pause and reset your mindset and thinking before you turn back to the computer and that to-do list.

2. Enjoy the Dead Space

In Mark Thornton’s book “Meditation in a New York Minute,” he discusses how we have so many dead spaces throughout our day. Think about if you arrive to the conference room for a meeting a few minutes early. Instead of turning to your phone to check emails or scroll on social media, just be in that moment. Enjoy that dead space when nothing is happening to reset and prepare your mind for the meeting.

3. Set Your Intentions

A big part of being mindful is setting an intention in your actions. Before that new business pitch or client presentation, take a few moments to breathe and set your intentions for the desired outcome. If we take purposeful actions with the right mindset, we can reach our goals and achieve the impossible.

4. Couple Mindfulness

A technique that doesn’t require any extra time is coupling, or attaching mindfulness to an action we’re already doing. Imagine if we took the time to focus on our breaths and setting our intentions while we start up our computers or walking to our next meeting. These actions are already things we do every day, but doing them when being mindful can allow us to relieve stress throughout the day.

5. Embrace Transitions

When walking between back-to-back meetings, instead of thinking about everything you have to do or want to say, take those steps mindfully and a few deep breaths. This allows us to reset during these transition moments that are embedded in our days. Breathing and allowing us to take these moments to just be can shift our focus from stress mode to a state of calmness that can truly strengthen our minds.

I hope you consider adopting these simple actions into your daily routine. They can help you de-stress throughout the day and live a more mindful life – in and out of the office. To learn more about meditation and mindfulness, please visit Melissa’s site at