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Mindfulness for Arthritis: Cultivating Inner Peace in Your Professional Life


seven professional executives sitting cross-legged on a wooden floor with eyes closed and hands on knees practising mindfulness meditation at work


In the intricate tapestry of our professional lives, managing the challenges of arthritis can feel like a delicate balancing act. Amidst the demands of our careers, the whispers of pain, discomfort, and frustration can often steal our focus. Yet, within the folds of mindfulness lies a transformative practice that can elevate our journey, allowing us to cultivate inner peace amidst the storm.



Unveiling the Essence of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is more than just a buzzword; it's a profound approach to life that can shape our experience with arthritis in remarkable ways. At its core, mindfulness is the art of being present. It involves observing our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations with a compassionate, non-judgmental stance. This practice unveils a canvas of awareness on which we can paint our responses to life's challenges.


Mindfulness may hold promise as a potential way to help prevent and treat disease, increase ability to cope with pain and chronic illness, reduce stress in patients and practitioners, foster compassion, improve quality of care and reduce medical errors.

Ludwig & Kabat-Zinn, 2008, p. 1352



Embracing the Power of Presence


For professionals living with arthritis, mindfulness emerges as a guiding light, offering solace and empowerment in the following ways:


Creating a Positive Mindset: Arthritis can bring its fair share of hurdles, but through mindfulness, we can learn to reshape our perspective. By acknowledging our thoughts without criticism, we can gently steer our minds towards positivity. This shift lays the foundation for a more optimistic outlook, enhancing our mental landscape.


Building Resilience: Mindfulness isn't about avoiding discomfort; it's about navigating it with grace. As we practice being present with our sensations, we develop the resilience to face pain and challenges head-on. Mindfulness teaches us that we are not our pain; rather, we are the vast awareness that holds space for it.


Nurturing Wellbeing: Our emotional and mental wellbeing deserves nurturing, especially when facing the intricacies of arthritis. Mindfulness, with its emphasis on self-compassion, offers us the tools to embrace our experiences without self-criticism. This self-kindness becomes a foundation for enhanced overall wellbeing.



professional woman relaxing back in her chair at her desk with her eyes closed in mindfulness meditation at work

Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Professional Life


Embracing mindfulness doesn't require grand gestures; it thrives in the simplicity of daily moments, such as;


1. Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath. Inhale deeply, feeling the expansion of your lungs, and exhale slowly, releasing tension. This practice can be a powerful anchor in the midst of a busy workday.


2. Mindful Breaks: Intersperse your work with short breaks. Step away from your desk, close your eyes, and engage your senses. Feel the textures around you, listen to the sounds in your environment, and observe your breath. This mindful pause can refresh your mind and ease tension.


3. Mindful Moments: Infuse mindfulness into routine activities. Whether sipping a cup of tea or walking to a meeting, be fully present. Engage your senses, and let the richness of the moment unfold.


Mindfulness seems to address important issues organizations and employees are struggling with in a time of attention overload, multi-tasking, and stressors from increasingly complex work arrangements and 24/7 connectivity.

Reb et al., 2020, p. 3


Arthritis Warriors, the journey is intricate, but mindfulness offers a compass. It's a tool that enables us to stand resilient amidst the challenges and uncertainties. Through mindfulness, we can create a sanctuary of inner peace within our professional lives, crafting a path that honours our strengths, fosters our wellbeing, and celebrates our journey.



 
Portrait image of Tamara Judge, executive coach for professionals with arthritis and chronic conditions. She is smiling standing in front of a turquoise wooden background and is holding three coloured notebooks.

Author: Tamara Judge


Bio: Tamara is a positive psychology consultant, coach and the founder of Keystone Coaching. She combines her expert knowledge in multidimensional positive psychology and coaching with her lived experience of rheumatoid arthritis to help professionals with chronic illness to thrive in their life and career. Tamara is passionate about raising the profile of wellbeing for professionals with autoimmune conditions, and empowering individuals & leaders to support, actively engage in & value opportunities for self-care.


She is an accredited coach at Senior Practitioner Level with the EMCC, holds an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology from the University of East London and is a qualified Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher.




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