Sometimes your career goal might be to get through the workday — and that’s okay. Because between trying to figure out if your boss hates you and planning out the best way to ask for a raise, your office can occasionally be more stressful than you bargained for. That’s exactly why Jen Kluczkowski co-founded Mindfresh, a company that brings mindfulness and meditation practice into the workplace.
B+C: What were you doing before founding Mindfresh?
JK: Prior to founding Mindfresh I helped build Pandora Radio’s NYC office, leading advertising sales on the east coast. Simultaneously, I was becoming more fascinated with yoga, meditation and mindfulness as a way to combat severe back pain, insomnia and burnout. That fascination led to a total immersion into these practices, with 800 plus hours of formal training and numerous trips to India to study with masters.
B+C: How did Mindfresh become a reality?
JK: It’s a mission born out of personal experience and need. I knew I wasn’t alone when it came to feeling the negative physical, emotional and mental effects of sitting in a stressful environment all day. That personal connection is continued inspiration. We’ve also been committed to developing a service that the majority of people in an office will actually do, that doesn’t include sweating on yoga mats or sitting still in silence for 30 minutes. We focus as a group, analyze feedback and create experiences for maximum impact.
B+C: How does it work and what exactly does it mean to have Mindfresh in your office?
JK: Having Mindfresh in the office means that the company and its leadership care about their team’s wellbeing. They acknowledge the stress of our always-connected, deadline-centric days and provide an opportunity for the staff to take a constructive break to refresh and reset body and mind. Highly trained Mindfresh teachers come on-site to lead 30-minute sessions featuring “mindful movement” (to improve body language and posture), breathing techniques (to calm down the nervous system) and guided meditation (to enhance focus and attention span).
Since many of us sit at desks for up to 10 hours a day, the Mindfresh philosophy is centered around stirring up physical energy with mindful movement for a more effective meditation experience. Mindfresh also has a digital content library filled with 5-10 minute videos for on-demand Mindfresh at your desk.
B+C: Do we need to change into yoga pants in front of coworkers?
JK: No. We’ve learned that changing into yoga or gym clothes in an office environment makes 97 percent of people uncomfortable. Mindfresh is interested in making a true impact and having as many people as possible participate in our experiences. You wear whatever you came to work in that day to our sessions.
B+C: Have any of your clients noticed an increase in productivity after taking part in the program?
JK: Yes! Over 85 percent of people who attend our session notice marked improvement in qualities that make them more effective in their work, like focus, perspective, creativity, patience, body awareness, emotional IQ and communication.
B+C: Why is taking time for meditation and mindfulness during the work day good for your health?
JK: In a world where we’re always on and extending ourselves outward, we need time to go inward for reflection, inspiration, reconnection and to recharge our internal batteries. With mindfulness — bringing as much attention as you can into your surrounding in any given moment — you experience life a little more deeply and richly. It slows everything down, in a good way.
B+C: Where is Mindfresh available and how much do we have to convince our bosses to spend?
JK: We have on-site sessions available in NYC and San Francisco. Depending on the level of membership, the cost is between $300 – $2,000 monthly. We’re gearing up to launch a digital content library that will make the Mindfresh practice accessible nationwide.
How to Destress at Work
B+C: What are some quick de-stressers we can do at our desk to calm down when our day is going south?
JK: Have an aromatherapy oil handy. Scent can have an immediate impact on our emotional state. Our signature scent, Mindfresh Hustle, is designed to be uplifting and grounding with notes of bergamot, cedar wood, lime and copaiba. For a quick midday reset: Close your eyes, sit up tall, pull the shoulders back, tilt the chin up slightly and then take five deep breaths. The combo of the open posture, the steady breath and bringing the focus inward for a moment is really powerful.
B+C: Can you give readers some advice on how to inject a bit of mindfulness into their work day?
JK: Try to notice when you have a tendency to go into autopilot — whether it’s writing an email, presenting data or giving a review — and then bring more attention into what you’re doing. Be a little more thoughtful and innovative in tasks that can become mundane.
Tweet us how you de-stress at work @BritandCo!
(Photos via Mindfresh)