The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines vitality as energy and strength; the peculiarity which distinguishes living from non-living. Vitality is the unseen energy that enlivens us and is the foundation of our well-being. Without vitality we would cease to exist.
Just as we need to regularly eat, drink, sleep and be social to maintain our physical and emotional well being, we also need to include any type of mindfulness practice to nourish our vitality. Remember vitality is an unseen energy and it does not increase with doing more, in fact quite the opposite. Doing more – mentally, emotionally or physically actually depletes our vitality while “doing” less mentally and physically, is jet fuel for our vitality. This is why we feel recharged after taking a nap, going for a walk in nature or just spending time relaxing with ourselves. It may seem counterintuitive but when our vitality is nourished we are able to ‘do’ more – mentally, physically and emotionally. We thrive, we feel more engaged and our sense of compassion and empathy increase. When our vitality is low, we feel tired, physically and emotionally. We may become more easily agitated, and our ability to focus or engage with others is decreased.
The ebb and flow of our vitality is part of being alive. Taking a break, meditating, going for a walk or napping are great ways to increase vitality but are not always realistic in the workplace. That’s where some simple mindfulness practices can help. Mindfulness is not about filling your mind with more thoughts and things. It is simply about being curious about your present experience without an expectation of feeling better – just noticing. You are simply allowing yourself to notice YOU without judgement.
Here are some examples of how you can incorporate mindfulness practices at work. Be committed to an attitude of curiosity and compassion towards yourself. The more you let yourself slow down and be present with whatever you are feeling/sensing/thinking, the more you will notice your vitality strengthen – enjoy!
- Breathing: Close your eyes take 3-4 deep breaths; notice the feeling of your breath moving through your nostrils
- Eating: Notice the taste and texture of your food, notice how you chew and swallow, think about where it came from – how did it arrive in front of you, where were the ingredients grown, picked, transported and prepared?
- Speaking: Notice your voice, your words, the mechanics of speaking, sensations, are you relaxed or are you tense?
- Listening: Allow yourself to really listen to someone without needing to make a suggestion, fix or solve – just listen. What do you notice in yourself?
- Walking: Even while walking to a meeting, notice the feeling of your body taking steps, your feet on the ground, touching the floor, the movement of your legs, your arms – just notice and acknowledge.
Well Street is a National Wellness Company helping organizations take a proactive approach to total wellbeing in the workplace. Don’t wait to react; companies can integrate health and wellness prevention strategies to empower wellness and drive employee engagement and happiness. Learn about our most popular total wellbeing programs: Mindfulness and Healthy Stress and a broad range of inspiring wellness Seminars. See what our Client’s are saying!
By: Alexia Georgousis ND. Dr. Alexia is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto and a highly engaging wellness Facilitator at Well Street Health. With formal training in Interdisciplinary Mindfulness, Transformative Mindfulness and Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Alexia views well-being as a continual practice – one that requires patience, compassion and loving kindness for ourselves. In her daily practice, she works with individuals to help them feel more vital, more whole, and more engaged in their lives.