Is work starting to grate on your nerves? Do you find the thought of going into work is leaving you stressed and anxious? Maybe your focus is off, and you no longer can rein in your wandering mind during working hours. Perhaps your job isn’t challenging enough anymore or maybe that’s the issue – it’s nothing but deadlines and challenges.
Have you ever considered starting a meditation routine to regain focus and reconnect with the most important person in your life – you? Meditation routines are gaining steam and popularity with the working crowd of the population because it can be done anywhere for as little as five minutes or as long as an hour. You can customize your routines and you can borrow elements from other mental/physical exercises such as yoga.
Meditation has been proven to lower stress levels, decrease a person’s blood pressure, increase immune systems and reduce anxiety before it even gets a chance to truly start. It can be done at home, on the commute to and from work (when taking public transport or carpooling – not when you’re the driver!) or even at work. That’s right – you can meditate yourself even during working hours to help regain focus and meet that deadline.
Declare Your Space:
Before getting into a meditation routine at work; you’ll want to scope out a space that is quiet and private. You don’t want a space that has frequent foot traffic, disruptions and interruptions or distractions. The ideal space is your own office but if this isn’t a reality for you while at work; then it is time to think outside the box.
Look for one of the following areas:
- A filing room with a door that closes and locks
- An empty office or conference room
- A private bathroom (probably stay standing for your meditation routine for cleanliness)
- Your vehicle while on break if no other area can be found
Set Your Timer:
You wouldn’t want your meditation routine to affect your work schedule, so try and schedule your session while on a coffee break or lunch. Aim and try to meet at least 15 minutes of spare time but if that’s undoable; then go for five- or 10-minute increments. Allow for at least five minutes of complete downtime where you can concentrate on your mantras, focus on your strengths as a worker and just relax into your own mind.
Set an alarm that will go off with a soft sound (think the chimes or similar setting on your smartphone) so you are not jolted out of your meditative state. Unless you can keep track of time yourself; you’ll definitely want an alarm, so you are not late for work. Try to use an alarm over watching the clock in the room as this will distract you and leave you feeling more anxious than relaxed.
Most workplaces are scent-free because of allergies or sensitivities to scents but there are ways to get around this to introduce essential oils to your meditation routine. There are certain scents that trigger the brain to relax and focus, such as lavender, so it is no wonder that many people choose to incorporate them into their routine.
Ask your office manager about the use of essential oils in the workplace. If they are agreeable to light scents for short periods of time – invest in an essential oil diffuser. These little appliances are designed for diffusing essential oils into the air.
Not allowed to bring in an essential oil diffuser – then use them as your skincare. Dilute your favorite relaxing scent into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and use them as a light perfume or skin cream. You can keep small tubs of this in your desk and apply to the hands before starting a meditation routine.
Sometimes it is just impossible to get away from your desk, even for a minute, but you feel yourself needing to just breathe for five minutes. When this occasion arises – try some desk meditation for quick relief and to increase focus before that i
- Concentrate on your breathing only. Zone out all other distractions and instead concentrate solely on each breath you are inhaling and exhaling. Don’t breathe in a rush or shallowly – instead inhale deeply, hold for five to 10 seconds and exhale slowly. This will focus the mind on repeating these breaths and reduce anxiety.
- Place your hand above your pelvic bone (on the lower stomach) and place your left hand over your heart. Feel the strength of your muscles and the air expanding in your lungs. Release any tension with each breath and make sure you avert your eyes from any distractions – telephone, paperwork, or computer screens. Do this for three to five minutes for the best results.
Workplace stress is one of the leading causes for workplace sickness and absenteeism. This is because people get burned out and start to resent their job, preferring to be home than at work. This can put a mental, financial and physically stressful burden on people’s shoulders. With this is mind – isn’t it worth it to take five to 15 minutes per day to yourself? For the sake of mental health and workplace ethics; it definitely is.
So next time you’re stressed at work or feeling anxious; use your coffee break to clear your head and reconnect with the most important person to you – yourself.