Alleviate Work Stress With Mindfulness

A lesson in mindfulness from the Founder of Mindset Strategies, Chantelle Fitzgerald

Stress in any work environment is unavoidable. From feeling undervalued to navigating annoying coworkers, there are a variety of factors that contribute to high levels of anxiety and tension. Add to that family and relationship conflicts that take up additional head space. When influences begin to mount, Mindset Coach and Strategist Chantelle Fitzgeraldhelps professionals redirect their thoughts to stay calm, clear, and grounded. 

Assess Your Mindset

            As the founder of Mindset Strategies LLC, Chantelle uses training programs, coaching, and her tv series, to impart mindfulness practices and tips. Mindset and consciousness of thought are the key ingredients to surmounting situations. To assess your mindset Chantelle asks, “What are the thoughts you are saying to yourself? When things come against you, are you negative, beating yourself up, or blaming others? Can you stay calm?”

Chantelle Fitzgerald, Founder of Mindset Strategies LLC

Build Your Toolkit

Without practice, our mindset can be easily overlooked. In an average work day, professionals go from one task to the next, without taking time to pause in between. One quick and easy tool Chantelle recommends is “taking a minute to arrive.” 

In between tasks, take 60 seconds to sit silently and comfortably with your feet planted on the floor. Start by feeling the weight of your body in the chair. If preferred, your eyes can be closed for this exercise as you eventually bring attention to your breathing. The purpose is to take a moment to center yourself as you shift focus to the next assignment. This is a brief practice in mindfulness which can have lasting effects.

Consider the Impact

Increases in neuroscience research show that what you think, do, and pay attention to changes the structures and functions of your brain.  Chantelle says, “The science and data around mindfulness has caught the attention of many corporations.” With the explosion of research, Chantelle has been given opportunities to work with both individuals and businesses, but one story best indicates the impact of her mindfulness teaching. 

            “I was working with a teacher who was easily overwhelmed. Before meditating, a lot of things would get to her,” Chantelle shared. “After practicing, things didn’t get to her as much and she started introducing meditation into the classroom. She came up with the acronym PATTY B.: pay attention to your breath. Not only did she bring calm to herself, but it had a ripple effect. Her boss asked her to be the mindfulness representative for her school.”

            Mindfulness can have lasting effects that extend beyond the individual. Chantelle explained, “Our mindset impacts how we come off to other people. What’s your mindset when things aren’t going your way?” Building a mindset toolkit helps you deal with sticky situations because the way you respond affects others. Access to mindfulness tools are available even without access to a professional. 

Start Your Journey

“I would highly recommend support when starting a meditation practice,” Chantelle began. “There are a lot of apps. If you aren’t guided, it will be very hard.” Even though the practice of mindfulness is quite simple, finding your calm can be difficult. It’s common for people to find the activity silly or get distracted, so Chantelle suggested using apps like Headspace, Insight Timer, or Calm. Insight Timer is completely free and you can connect with Chantelle and other professionals. 

            For beginners, Chantelle has three rules. 

  1. Be kind to yourself. It will be difficult to master the process. 
  2. Be curious about the process. Consider what makes you anxious and what prevents you from staying present. 
  3. Don’t judge yourself. Avoid your immediate negative self-talk. If you have to reset a million times, do it. 

Mindfulness, like any other good thing, takes time, and since life’s stressors aren’t going anywhere, journeying to find your calm is undoubtedly worth it. Whether you start with an app like Insight Timer, attend a mindfulness workshop, or join Chantelle’s support calls, just be sure to be intentional about your mindset journey. 

Written by Mizz Jasz

Jasmine “Mizz Jasz” Hawkins is a Philly-based educator, writer, and community organizer. Jasz serves as president and founder of the non-profit Urgent 365 Inc., author of Urgent Conversations: Race, Reality, and Responsiblity, and host of the Pecola Breedlove and the Freedom Party open mic. Her work and heart are grounded in the empowerment of women and the social climate of the Black community as a whole. When she isn’t working, Jasz loves watching romantic comedies, traveling, and working out.