2 min read

Mindful Practices for Stress Relief

4 easy steps for stress relief within your Development team.
Stress relief in the workplace

With today’s ‘hustle culture’ being so prominent in the workplace, we can often lose sight of our employees’ mental wellbeing. ‘Hustle culture’ claims that hard work and long hours lead to success, this is why it is also known as ‘burnout culture.’

Stress is a common issue for developers due to the pressure to meet deadlines and increasing workloads. Fortunately, there are mindful practices that development teams can adopt to alleviate stress in the workplace.

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, paying attention to one's thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. Mindfulness can be used as a tool to help manage stress levels, increase productivity, focus, and improve overall wellbeing.

Below are some mindful practices that can help relieve stress in the workplace:

1.      Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a very simple, yet incredibly effective mindfulness technique. It can be practiced anywhere, anytime, including in the workplace.

When your development team is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, guide them to take a few minutes to focus on their breathing. People will often find that they are shallow breathing, which can trigger anxiety and respiratory conditions that put their body under strain.

To combat this, guide the team to take a deep breath through their nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through their mouth. Repeat this process for a few minutes, and you will notice a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels.

2.      Mindful Movement

The human body was designed to move. Engaging in mindful movement practices in the workplace like yoga or stretching can be an effective stress relief practice.

These practices involve slow and deliberate movements that can help calm the mind and reduce tension in the body. If your development team consists of people who thrive on fast movements and want to get their blood flowing, a walk outside or a group lunchtime run can help clear the mind and get blood flowing to the brain.

3.      Mindful Eating

We often see people in movies rushing through their meals or snacking while hastily walking to their next meeting. This often looks chaotic and further drives ‘hustle culture’ into our understanding of what is means to work hard. Taking the time to eat mindfully can help reduce stress and elevate productivity post-meal.

The team can be taught to eat mindfully by eating slowly and paying attention to the colours, flavours, and textures of their food. This practice can improve digestion and calm the mind before taking on tasks.

4.      Gratitude Practice

Think about how much stress and negativity clog up the mind every day. Encouraging the development team to shift their attention away from the negatives and focus on gratitude instead, can help cultivate a positive mindset and reduce stress.

Every day, encourage the team to take a few moments to reflect on what they are grateful for, this can be in their work life or personal life. Developers keeping a gratitude journal and reading what was written previously can be a helpful, tactile tool to support them on the days where they feel too stressed to remember the positives in their lives.

In conclusion, stress in the workplace is a common issue that has a negative impact on your development team’s health and job performance.

However, encouraging them to practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, mindful movement, mindful eating, and gratitude practice, you can help them reduce stress levels and create a more peaceful and productive work environment.

These practices can also help improve overall well-being and lead to a more fulfilling life.