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Being mindful over what matters

Learning from mindfulness organisations, SW London’s Chair Annie Lee sets out how stress can be managed at work by keeping an open mind, responding rather than reacting and building healthy habits to be mindful about what matters.

Annie Lee

March 2019

Our daily working lives are full of challenges. The moment we step through the office door or sit at our desks or are about to open our emails, our heart rate races in anticipation of what we may receive and face during the day.

Studies have shown accountants are working longer hours. We are getting less sleep. We are constantly faced with urgent deadlines and time pressures. We work with challenging bosses and colleagues. This drains us and adds stress to our daily life.

The key is to manage the stress. An article from Tara Healey of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care suggested how to use mindfulness to become more productive in our work and less likely to be wound up and become unhappy and worried.

Stress is not bad for us. Stress can test how we handle different situations and make us smarter. However too much stress will tip us over and make us crumble.

Through mindfulness we can train our minds to work better. In Tara’s article she suggested four ways to create a more mindful work routine.

  1. Keep an open mind.
  2. Learn to respond, rather than react.
  3. Remember, thoughts are not facts.
  4. Build healthy habits.

To find out more, you can read her article on www.mindful.org.

ICAEW members, past and present, have access to CABA (Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association), a charity supporting chartered accountants’ wellbeing. They can support you through any stages of your career, whether you are an ACA student or getting back to work through to redundancy, as well as you and your family’s physical, emotional, career and financial wellbeing.

They organise courses, free of charge, on mental health in the UK. There is a lot of information and guides on mindfulness and emotional wellbeing, including blogs and videos.

People do not have to suffer alone. There is a 24-hour live chat support service.

Our minds are powerful, with tremendous energy and drive, but sometimes they can be annoying and drag us down. By reflecting on each moment and assessing where we are and what we have been doing, this will help us to keep in check how we are behaving or nudge us out of our habit and transform the way we work.

Annie Lee is chair of the South West London Area Society of Chartered Accountants.

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