The PR industry is well known for its high-stress environment. In a recent survey by PRWeek and the PRCA, 49% of respondents said they feel under more stress than they did 12 months ago. Long hours and an always-on culture can take its toll on mental health and wellbeing.
The impact of chronic stress can have far-reaching consequences if left unmanaged. People may have problems sleeping, experience short-term memory problems or increase consumption of food and alcohol due to high stress-levels. Chronic stress can also impact mental and physical health leading to the development of anxiety, depression and high blood pressure just to name a few.
There is growing scientific evidence that mindfulness - the act of being fully present in the moment without judgement - can help people reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and related problems such as insomnia and poor concentration, as well as improve overall resilience and wellbeing.
Here are five easy ways to become more mindful and improve your mental wellbeing.
Know your triggers: demanding clients and tight deadlines can increase our stress levels. By understanding what triggers us and how we react physically and emotionally, we can proactively put plans in place to manage our emotions and respond rather than react to situations more effectively.
Take a mindful pause: it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of daily life. Take a mindful pause, whether it’s a single mindful breath, a mindful minute or a mindful 10 minutes. Allow yourself to sit quietly and focus on the flow of the breath and the sensations as they arise in your body. This simple exercise can help to re-energise, improve focus and productivity.
Mindful eating: Instead of eating lunch at your desk whilst reading your news feed, take 20 minutes to really experience the food. Notice the colour and texture of your food, experience the different taste sensations and savour each mouthful. You will enjoy the food so much more, as well as giving your brain a much-needed rest.
Cultivate a sense of gratitude: it’s easy to get caught up in our endless to-do lists and deadlines, take a moment to celebrate the small successes. When you are grateful and actively cultivate a mindset of gratitude, you become more resilient to the daily stressors of life.
Be kind: even the smallest act of kindness can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing. Smile at a colleague, give someone a meaningful compliment or simply say a heartfelt thank you. These small acts of kindness can bring more lightness to your life and to those around you.
Why not experience mindfulness for yourself and sign up to the 7-Day Mindfulness Challenge: 7 minutes of guided mindfulness exercises every day for 7 days for £7.77. Sign up here.
In the words of Eckhart Tolle “In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much and forget about the joy of being.”
The PRCA offers a one-day Introduction to Mindfulness workshop and 3-part webinar series, presented by Angie Vaux, founder and CEO of OutsideIN Performance.