How to Improve Your Work with Meditation4 min read
Meditation At Work
Your work may be the number one factor that is causing you stress and anxiety. We are pretty sure no one is a fan of replying to emails at 11 p.m or barely having time for lunch. But there is something you can do to fix this. A short meditation session right at your workplace can work wonders to de-stress you, refocus your attention and increase your productivity.
You may wonder how you can possibly have time for meditation at work when you barely have time to go to the bathroom. But meditating does not always mean sitting cross-legged and chanting Om; it simply means engaging in reflection or contemplation in order to relax yourself. So, it’s not very difficult to meditate at work once you know the secrets. The 5 to 10 minutes or so you spend meditating will surely be an investment.
Here are some simple ways for meditation at work that won’t take up much of your time, yet are extremely effective.
• Go for a walking meditation and surround yourself with nature
Walking meditation is simple, yet relaxing. All you have to do is get out from the office building and take a walk outside, all the while focusing on your walk itself. According to Zen Buddhist monk, ThichNhat Hanh, the right way to go about with meditative walking is by “walking as if your feet are kissing the earth”.
Pay attention to your footsteps and use them as your point of focus. Be aware of how fast you are walking, or how slow; how comfortable the ground feels on your feet; how the air around you makes you feel; what you can smell. You can even walk around your office, but it will definitely be more relaxing when you are surrounded by nature.
• Put your headphones on and play some binaural beats
Music in itself is a therapy. So, make use of it by listening to binaural beats in between your work. This will surely realign your focus and make you more productive. Not sure what binaural beats are? Two tones with slight variations in frequencies, one tone played for each ear, are called binaural beats. You can easily find them on Soundcloud or YouTube.
A study conducted by two neuroscientists found that binaural beats help with memory, stress, attention, pain, migraines and headaches. When you hear two tones of different frequencies, our brain mixes them and harmonizes them, creating a soothing sound that is calming and relaxing.
• Practise “calming meditation” or Samatha meditation
Samatha meditation, also known as “calming meditation” is a meditation that requires you to focus on just one thing, usually your own breath. This makes it very easy to implement in your workplace. Not only will it relax you, it will increase your productivity.
Begin by staring at inanimate object for two to five minutes. Don’t pass any judgements on this object, just stare at it while you focus on your own breath. Pay attention to you breathing in and out, the pace of your own breath. Even if you get distracted, that’s okay. Just remember to redirect your focus on to your breathing. If possible, partially close your eyes. But if there are many people around you, it’s okay to do it with open eyes too.
• Release stress using the Stress Shaker technique
As the name suggests, this technique of meditation and relaxation will help you release stress from your mind and body. Sit straight on your chair, relax your shoulders. If possible, close your eyes. Breathe deeply a few times and think about what is stressing you out.
As you grow to be more aware of your stressor, tell yourself that you are willing to see things differently and move forward from your problem. Don’t just say it, believe it. Envision it. imagine yourself free of all your stressors and being calm and relaxed. Take deep breaths, and release all your tension by exhaling them out. Then shake and move your body about, imagining your stress leaving you. You’ll feel a lot better after this.
• Escape to your car and meditate
You may find it difficult to focus and meditate in your office, where there are many people around you. Don’t worry. You can still find your own moment of “zen”. All you need is a place to escape where you will be alone, and that place is your car. You can be sure you won’t be distracted by others.
Run to your car for just a few minutes, practise a few breathing techniques, or you could even put your earphone on and listen to binaural beats. You can practise any of the meditation techniques mentioned above. After returning to your office, you will find that you are more relaxed and your productivity increased.