The last thing you want to do is freaking out your colleagues as they find you sitting like a Zen Monk in a business suit and going “Omm..” . Or closing your eyes in meditation bliss as your boss is blowing his top over a missed dateline.
Despite how meditation could enhance your productivity and give you a creative edge in what you’re doing, there is a better way to meditate at work without disrupting your work or your colleagues’. Plus, you don’t want to give your boss any idea that you are breaking down due to stress overload.
If you’ve been trying out mindfulness meditation at home, you’ll notice that the techniques of mindfulness meditation (i.e. observing your breath and awareness of your wandering mind) could be adapted to your work without turning your working desk into a meditation chamber.
If you’re driving to work and traffic jam is a nightmare, don’t spend your time on the road mentally cursing at other drivers or blaring your horns away.
Even spending your time freaking out at the thought that you’re going to miss the 9 A.M meeting is not going to change a thing, except bringing your stress level up before you even reach your office.
Be mindful of your thoughts when you are driving. Don’t respond to angry thoughts that arise. Just know that you’re having angry thoughts and let it fade away naturally. At the same time, pay attention to traffic.
Mindfulness could prevent daydreaming when you’re driving and decrease chances of wrecking your car.
Trust me, wrecking your car is no fun.
You probably have a habit of checking out your phones or losing yourself into wild imaginations when you’re waiting for the lift. Most people do so when they spend an average of one to two minutes waiting for the lift that never seems to arrive.
Without realizing, this will increase your pre-work tension. Use that opportunity to do a body-scan awareness. Just stand still and be aware of the sensations that you feel on the various part of your body.
(Body parts with obvious sensation: temple, shoulder, abdomen, hip, lower back, knee, and feet) These are the parts you will feel tense when you are stressed.
To avoid looking like a stoned zombie, you can put your best look that says “I’m busy brainstorming for my next project”
Taking a few steps to the photocopying machine? Or did your boss called you to his office because he needs to “talk to you”? Instead of having wild worrying thoughts assailing the peace of your mind, try walking mindfully by turning your awareness to your footsteps.
That will keep you calm and focus no matter what happens later. Remember that every single negative thought that stresses you out is sapping your mental energy.
And you’ll also find yourself jamming up the photocopy machine less frequent and avoid the wrath of the secretary who’s bossing over it.
You should also do mindful walking when you leave your office. It’s a good way to keep work stress at work.
If you’re staring at your computer screen all day long, you risk straining your eyes in the long run. It’s advisable to take short breaks every 90 minutes. (read more on reducing eye strains here.
No, you’re not going to start Twittering on your smartphone at your screen break.
Try doing some eye exercise and then close your eyes. Bring awareness to your breathing like what you’re doing when you meditate at home. Just meditating this way for a couple of minutes will bring some freshness into your mind.
Of course, you can keep it longer wish. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep in your comfortable working chair.
That’s where all the gossips started.
Or it could be your mindfulness sanctuary.
It’s a good place for you to meditate while you drink away. You can bring your awareness to the whole drinking process.
As you lift your glass, be aware of the movement and the sensation. Gently drink the water, taking in one sip at a time. Be mindful for the sensation as the water washed down your throat.
If you’re famous for your barista skill in your workplace, you can improvise and bring mindfulness as you whip up a delighting latte. Trust me, that little bit of mindfulness will bring your latte to the next level.
If you’re one who is absorbed in your work and suddenly you found yourself starving like you’ve haven’t eaten in 3 days, lunch break is going to be one word, “rush”.
You gobble up the food while your mind is thinking about how to fix the crashing program or what’s your best opening line in your next meeting.
Or you could be scrolling away from your Facebook and munching your sandwiches on the other hand.
You can choose to break the lunch madness and eat mindfully for once. And you may lose a few pounds in the process.
Stop checking an email every single time the notification pops up. If it’s urgent, you’ll probably get a call. Same goes to your other social media feeds. Well, unless your job is all about doing that. (Mine is not.).
It is easy to get carried away by distraction while you’re working. The next time you have a thought that whispers “how about taking a 5 minutes break to check out that viral video”, don’t give in to the temptation.
Be aware that you are having a distractive thought. Notice how your mind is trying to convince yourself to react to the thought. When you are mindful, you are less likely to give into that distraction.
And you’ll find that distractive thoughts lost its power when you refuse to hold on to them.
Well, no one says you can’t spend another 5 minutes in the toilet if you’re really craving for solitude in the office.
In fact, spending time in the toilet could sometimes give you the best inspiration you need. Anyway, you’re going to spend at least 3-4 trips to your beautiful office toilets each day right?
Spend some time to recollect your thought and clear all the mess that’s going in your head. Mindfully of course.
if you’re still thinking that I’m kidding on this toilet meditation thing, I’m not. Check out another article on PhysioYoga on toilet meditation.
Stop thinking about the props that you are used to at home. Meditation incense, your beautiful zafu cushion or your favorite guided meditation CD that you are accustomed to.
Mindfulness meditation is not sitting and taming your monkey mind for 30 minutes a day and turning your mind into a wild circus for the rest of your waking hours.
Bring mindfulness meditation practice to your work and you’ll find that you bring back lesser work stress home. And you’ll get a better sleep to end your day.
If you still finding meditation at work a tall order, here are some meditation apps that you may find interesting.
Do you find this article helpful for you to meditate in the office, without disrupting your productivity and work-flow? Or do you have more ideas of bringing meditation to work? Share your thoughts here and if you find this article helpful, share it with your friends.
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I am an engineer-turned-writer who once struggle with social anxiety. After overcoming problems inflicted by low self-esteem and the fear of interaction, I realize the need for taking a holistic approach in developing our mind. I'm sharing my experience, remedies, and techniques that interest me in my quest to be a better self.
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