If you want to achieve happiness at work, you may need some help.
Fortunately, these quotes I've collected over time provide that for you.
What is Mindfulness at Work?
In the last 20 years, Google search interest for the word “mindfulness” worldwide has increased almost ten times.
The concept of mindfulness is more popular than ever, and for good reasons.
Twenty years of research has shown that when you practice mindfulness at work, you:
- Feel less stressed
- More satisfied with your job
- Improve relationships with your colleagues
- Perform better
- Become healthier
That’s everything I want in life.
Especially for remote teams, practicing mindfulness has been found to have some amazing effects:
- Mindfulness, when combined with virtual nature experiences, can foster creative problem-solving among remote workers.
- When a remote team is encouraged to use a mindfulness app at work, their psychological safety improves.
However, there’s a major misconception about mindfulness: you need a designated calm time, space, a yoga mat, and even some proper lessons (!) to practice mindfulness.
I’m here to tell you that’s absolutely not true.
“Fundamentally, mindfulness is a simple concept. [...] Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
When mindful, you observe your present inner reality (thoughts, emotions, sensations) and outer reality (social and physical conditions) without judgment.
You respond to situations instead of reacting. You focus on the here and the now.
And to practice mindfulness at work is simple.
As two mindfulness researchers, Lindsey Cameron and Andrew Hafenbrack, suggested in a Harvard Business Review article, sometimes all it takes is to:
- Take a deep, calming breath before answering the phone.
- Internally sending goodwill to others while your client walks into the room.
- Remind yourself to listen deeply to your colleagues before a meeting.
Or, for days like today, all it takes is a mindfulness quote that hits just right!
For your daily dose of inspiration and encouragement for mindfulness at work, I searched for many well-saying quotes and put them in different categories, along with key takeaway messages.
Let’s be mindful together!
Mindfulness Quotes for Happy Work, Happy Life
Mindfulness Quotes About Being at the Present Moment at Work
When was the last time you turned on autopilot mode during a task you didn’t like?
Or juggling between two or three tasks and not focusing on any of them?
In any case, not being fully present while working may reduce both your well-being and productivity.
- “Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn, from Wherever You Go, There You Are
- “To produce at your peak level, you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.” – Cal Newport, from Deep Work
- “Be where you are; otherwise, you will miss your life.” - Buddha
- “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed.
The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” ― Eckhart Tolle, from The Power of Now
- “Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.” — Deepak Chopra
- “Sometimes, when you have a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you'll never get it swept. And then you start to hurry. [...]
You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else.
That way you enjoy your work, which is important, because then you make a good job of it. And that's how it ought to be.” - Michael Ende, from Momo
- “Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.” – Bhante H. Gunaratana
- “How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience, and therefore, the quality of our lives.” – Sam Harris, from Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
- “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from Being Peace
Message to take away:
- When you do something mindlessly, not just work, anything, you’re drifting through life, not living.
- So, try not to multitask, and try to enjoy that “boring task" you don't like. Maybe when you do a task with your full attention, it will be more interesting!
Mindfulness Quotes to Let Go of Worries at Work
According to the APA, 8 out of 10 people experience regular workplace stress. If that’s you, here are the mindfulness reminders that you need.
- “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” - Buddha
- “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
- “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” - Amit Ray, from Om Chanting and Meditation
- “Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know this is the moment you most need to relax.” – Matt Haig, from Reason to Stay Alive
- “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” - Dalai Lama
- “We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” – Maya Angelou
- “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Best advice ever received was from one of my meditation teachers at the monastery: ‘Be present, be patient, be gentle, be kind…everything else will take care of itself.’” - Andy Puddicombe, from Headspace
- “If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.” – Ivan Nuru
- "When you're quiet, everything settles on the floor of your mind like sediment in undisturbed still water." - Megan Monahan
Message to take away:
When you feel overwhelmed by worries about work, you can try to:
- Focus on what is within your control and let go of what is not.
- Concentrate on the present and not worry yourself even more with fears for the future.
Mindfulness Quotes to Overcome Difficult Situations at Work
Complicated feelings at work may arise from having a project failing to meet targets, a promotion you miss, or a coworker you feel like you can never get along with.
No matter what it is, you are stronger than you think, and I believe you can make it through.
This too shall pass.
- "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Victor Frankl, author of Man's Search for Meaning
- “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from Peace is Every Step
- “Breathe in the good shit. Breathe out the bullshit.” – Karen Salmansohn
- “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” - Dalai Lama
- “To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Miracle of Mindfulness
- “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Buddha
- "No one can hurt me without my permission." - Mahatma Gandhi
- “And when the broken-hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be.” - The Beatles, from Let It Be
- “Remember the blue sky. It may at times be obscured by clouds, but it is always there.” — Andy Puddicombe, from Headspace
- "Your focus determines your reality." - Qui-Gon Jinn tells Anakin, from Stars Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- “Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften.” – Jack Kornfield, from A Path with Heart
- “These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” - Najwa Zebian
- “It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view.” - Dalai Lama
Message to take away:
When facing a difficult situation at work, remember that:
- Just because the situation is bad, doesn't mean you have to feel bad.
- A negative experience now may be a positive one in the future or form a different perspective.
- Even when you feel like you have to do something right now, sometimes it’s best first to take a deep breath, calm yourself down, and let it be.
Mindfulness Quotes to Slow Down at Work
Do you feel like you're always in a hurry?
And by always, I mean always, especially for hybrid and remote workers, who often struggle to draw a line between work and life.
Well, the always-on-time urgency will do more harm than good to your mental and physical health.
I hope the quotes below will help you slow down in our busy world.
- “In our times, it is radical to choose to sit still and be silent, to resist an identity of busyness, ceaseless motion, and noise, and to reclaim our sanity and humanity by coming home to ourselves." - Sumi Loundon Kim
- “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
- “In today’s rush, we all think too much - seek too much - want too much - and forget about the joy of just being.” – Eckhart Tolle
- "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes ... including you." — Anne Lamott, from her 6-million view TED Talk 12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writing
- “It takes courage to say yes to rest and play, in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a symbol status.” – Brené Brown
Message to take away:
Doing something faster does not always mean doing it better.
From time to time, you need a good rest to restore a calm state of mind. Then you can come back and finish your job with much more efficiency.
Mindfulness Quotes for Positive Self-Talk at Work
What we tell ourselves about ourselves matters. A lot.
In his research, Charles Fernyhough, a professor of psychology at Durham University in England and author of the self-talk book The Voices Within, reveals that instructional and motivational self-talk can help boost your focus and self-esteem.
Let the quotes below inspire you to be your own kindest best friend.
- “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it.” — Michael A. Singer, from The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
- “So much time and effort is spent on wanting to change, trying to change, to be somebody different, better, or new. Why not use this time to get comfortable with yourself as you are instead?” - Andy Puddicombe, from Headspace
- “Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” - Allan Lokos, from Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living
- “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha
- “Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our compassionate thoughts.” – Buddha
- “Everything is created twice. First in the mind and then in reality.” – Robin Sharma, from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
- “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha
- “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Art of Power
Message to take away:
- Thoughts are not facts. When a negative thought comes across your mind, you can let it go instead of reacting to it.
- Your inner reality creates your outer reality, so keep your self-talk positive and motivating.
Mindfulness Quotes to Improve Your Relationship with Colleagues
When I first graduated from university, a mentor advised me that at work, I should “be friendly but not be friends.”
Many people are skeptical about friendship at work, but the facts are quite different from the popular belief.
Gathering data from over 2.7 million workers worldwide, Gallup has shown that if you can say, “I have a best friend at work,” there's a higher chance that you have good performance.
Especially in remote and hybrid work, friends at work can be your “lifelines who provide crucial social connection, collaboration, and support.”
- “Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. [...]
If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.” - Dalai Lama
- “A beautiful way to practice mindfulness, which is almost guaranteed to improve your social life, is to [...] give your full moment-to-moment attention to another person with a nonjudgmental mind [...]” - Chade-Meng Tan, from Search Inside Yourself
- “The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.
To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes. ” - Pema Chodron
- “Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, from Wherever You Go, There You Are
- “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
- “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” - The Beatles, from The End
- “Treat everyone you meet as if they were you.” - Doug Dillon
- “A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.” – Dalai Lama
- “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” - Buddha
- “When you move your focus from competition to contribution, life becomes a celebration. Never try to defeat people, just win their hearts.” - Buddha
- “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself [...] He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Message to take away:
The key to building positive relationships with your colleagues is to try to:
- Speak to them with good intentions.
- Listen deeply when they speak and listen without judgment.
- Remember that everybody changes. Because Buddha teaches us that everything is impermanent, the fact that you had one quarrel doesn't mean you two have to be on bad terms forever.
- Forgive if the person says hurtful words to you. Hurt people hurt others.
Mindfulness Quotes for Opening up Our Minds to New Ideas
When practicing mindfulness, we learn to see things as they are, free from our assumptions about ourselves and the world.
- “Usually, when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching
- “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” – Frank Zappa
- “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from Being Peace
- “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” - Dalai Lama
Message to take away: Practicing a mindful and nonjudgmental view of the world helps you to see new possibilities.
Mindfulness Quotes for Mindful Leadership
As a manager, your level of mindfulness will have an impact on your entire team.
As Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie prove in their book Centered Leadership, the ability of leaders to be mindful and at choice in the moment helps them practice the purposeful cycle of leadership at work, including Meaning (tap into purpose and vision) - Framing (habitual patterns into a learning stance) - Connecting (create collective relationships) - Engaging (themselves and their people) - and Energizing (sustain transformational growth).
- “An anxious mind is an unproductive mind that doesn’t inspire the best in others. A top priority for mindful leaders is cultivating peace of mind.” - Matt Tenney, from The Mindfulness Edge
- “For mindful leaders, cultivating such organizational health requires [...] Eliminate toxicity. Appreciate health. Build trust. Send clear messages. Embrace resistance. Understand blindness. Accept invitations. Heal wounds. Be realistic.” - Michael Carroll, from The Mindful Leader
- “[Mindful leadership] enables a leader to respond to a situation as it arises, to respond to the reality of constant changes from a place of deep calm and focus [...]" - Maria Gonzalez, from Mindful Leadership
- “Mindfulness enables leaders to be fully present, aware of themselves and their impact on other people, and sensitive to their reactions to stressful situations.” - Bill George, from his article Mindful Leadership: Compassion, Contemplation and Meditation Develop Effective Leaders
- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” - Mahatma Gandhi
- “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” – Rumi
Message to take away:
To be a mindful leader, start with:
- Cultivating a sense of peace within yourself so that you can foster peace within your team.
- Be aware and kind with your words, as they have a considerable impact on your people's wellbeing.
- Be mindful of our actions. Make sure they stick to your words.
Mindfulness Quotes for a Happy Relationship with Work
We often think of work as something daunting, something we would stop doing immediately if we won a lottery ticket.
But the fact is that most of us will spend one-third of our life - 90,000 hours, working, and very few of us will win a lottery any time soon.
Now I believe we can agree that it's worth transforming our relationship with work to a happier one, using the power of mindfulness.
- “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” - Alan Watts
- “Work is only a part of life. But work is life only when done in mindfulness.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Miracle of Mindfulness
- “Ideally, we are able to find a job and work in such a way that our work is of benefit to the Earth and to all living beings.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from Work: How to Find Joy and Meaning in Each Hour of the Day
- “Perhaps one of the reasons we don't enjoy all these activities as much as we could is because we think activities need to be exciting for us to enjoy them.
Many people confuse joy and happiness with excitement. But excitement is not the same as happiness. With joy and happiness we have a sense of satisfaction.
There's a feeling of satisfaction in being in the here and now, when you recognize you have so many conditions for happiness in the present moment, whether you're sitting, walking, standing, or working.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from Work: How to Find Joy and Meaning in Each Hour of the Day
- “Don’t do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Miracle of Mindfulness
Message to take away:
To find work enjoyable, first, you need to treat work as something… enjoyable.
Give work half your attention when traveling to a new place, and you will see the magic.
Work can be play, and work can be life.
Mindfulness Quotes to be Content with What You Have at the Present at Work
At job interviews, we are often asked, “What's your career plan for the next three years?”
At work, we need to come up with strategies for the next month, next year, or even the next five years.
We long for the next promotion, the next salary raise, the next business trip abroad, and so on.
We are accustomed to living in the future and forget that the present is all we have.
- “If we're not comparing the present moment to thoughts of the past or thoughts of the future, the present moment is actually perfect just as it is.” - Matt Tenney, from Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom
- “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa
- “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” - Lao Tzu
- “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” – Bill Watterson
- “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chodron, from The Wisdom of No Escape
- “Ask yourself: Where am I? Answer: Here. Ask yourself: What time is it? Answer: Now. Say it until you can hear it.” – Ram Dass
- “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes, which it will.” – James Baraz
- “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations
- “In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” – Victoria Moran, from Younger by the Day
- “We already have everything we are looking for, everything we want to become. Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Miracle of Mindfulness
Message to take away:
While planning for the future is absolutely crucial and helpful in both work and life, you can learn to embrace your present by:
- Not comparing it to the past and the future.
- Accepting and being grateful for the present as it is.
- Keeping in mind that after all, you can only live in the present. If you're not happy now, what can guarantee that you'll be satisfied when another “present" comes?
Mindfulness Quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh to be Happy at Work
- “There is no way to happiness — happiness is the way.”
- “Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.”
- “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
- “Because you are alive, everything is possible.”
- “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
- “If you take good care of the present, there is no need to worry about the future.”
- “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.”
- “There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.”
- “Around us, life bursts with miracles - a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. [...]
When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”
Mindfulness Quotes from Dalai Lama to Have a Happy Day at Work
Dalai Lama is the title Tibetan people give to the most outstanding spiritual leaders of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama of our time is Tenzin Gyatso.
- “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
- “Love is the absence of judgment.”
- “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
- “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.
I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others.
I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
- “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
- “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
- “A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
- “Open your arms to change but don't let go of your values.”
- “A genuine, affectionate smile is very important in our day-to-day lives.”
- “As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.”
The Day to be Mindful at Work is Today
If you have flexible work arrangements, remember that being in a hybrid or remote team should not prevent you from practicing mindfulness at work.
As Suzanne Taylor, a member of the Forbes Technology Council, suggests, mindfulness in a remote team can start simply by having daily 15-minute remote guided meditation sessions together.
I hope you have been inspired by the 100 mindfulness quotes we gather here and will start adding a bit of mindfulness to your workday from today!