Spirituality and business. These two words seem to be at odds with one another but I want to make the argument that they shouldn't be.

What do I mean by spirituality? I mean being in touch with who we are and what we want--and being able to dial into others, who they are and what they want.

It's different than emotional intelligence because it's outward- and inward-focused, rather than mostly outward-focused. And it's different than mindfulness because it's more active--spirituality requires not only keen awareness of your behavior, but mindful actions as well.

The benefits are real. By being spiritual, we're able to reduce our stress, foster better relationships, increase tolerance, and reduce negative conflict. Just ask CNN Anchor Soledad O'Brien, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams why they practice the spiritual act of meditation regularly.

I recently returned from a three-week retreat where I ditched my phone and laptop in favor of focusing on my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I realized that the spirituality category could use some work. I've since incorporated a few easy ways to improve my spiritual self and I've already seen benefits in my professional and personal life.

Here are 4 easy ways I've learned to bring my spiritual self to the workplace:

Look at things positively.

Negative thoughts are a cancer and they only bring pain and drain energy. Banish them. Use positive words when talking and if something has gone wrong, analyze what it was and move forward. No one is perfect. Learn to let go of negativity. (Or as my father calls it "stop awfulizing" about things.)

Treat others well.

And by well, I don't mean the golden rule of how you'd like to be treated. I mean, try the new platinum rule, treat others how they want to be treated. This act recognizes that we all are individuals with different wants and needs.

Take some time.

Incorporate practices like meditation, prayer, or mantras into your day. Close your eyes, be still, and think about how you want to be in the world and how you want the world to be with you. What mantras do you want to send out to the world and yourself? Each morning I do a three-part 20-minute meditation exercise. It's as much as a priority as brushing my teeth. I never miss it and have reaped the rewards.

Take a breath.

It sounds cliché, but taking a few deep breaths can work wonders for relaxing and centering you. Stress is rampant in the workplace. And when we're stressed, we tend to take shorter, shallower breaths--only exacerbating the bad feeling. So, next time you're in a conflict or feeling less than great, take a moment, breathe deep, and let your cooler head prevail.

Bringing your spirituality into the workplace may be something you wish to do privately, or it could be something you incorporate into team meetings. Organizations have started coupling parts of it like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness with management and finding that it's helped teams decrease negative emotions and improve memory.

I feel certain just doing one of the acts regularly will make your day--and life--more nourishing.

Published on: Sep 22, 2016
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