Stress can be an unavoidable matter in the workplace, regardless of occupation. The workplace environment and work stress can cause feelings of irritation, anxiety, and even depression. Yet there is a way to combat these feelings with meditation. Meditation is simply the act of focusing on one entity to center your mind and better understand your present emotions. By taking a moment to calm down and meditate, you can establish mental clarity, train the mind to better concentrate, and reduce stress. Your workplace should not be an aggravating or anxiety-inducing space, so it’s crucial to practice meditation at work to keep yourself grounded and in a stable mood.
4 Benefits of Meditation at Work
There are a number of benefits to meditation at work. Let’s look at four of them.
Increase focus: Mindfulness and practicing meditation shows improvement in the ability to maintain attention and reduce disruptions.
Improve mood: Meditation is known for its ability to reduce anxiety and depression, which can improve your mood over time.
Strengthen relationships: Workers who practice being mindful produce positive impressions of themselves and those surrounding them. Improvement of communication and emotional expression leads to improved relationships.
Increase creativity: People who practice meditation at work are often more open to bold ideas and unique creativity, such as new workplace strategies, problem-solving, and more.
To learn more about the benefits of meditation, check out our article, 'Top 10 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation'.
Research shows that organizations that utilize a meditation program drastically decrease employee anxiety, and at the same time show a reduction in employee stress. Not every organization has such a program, though, and employees thus need to practice for themselves.
Those who incorporate meditation tend to stay on task longer, have better time management skills, and receive more positive feedback after evaluations.
Anyone can meditate at work. It helps to have a clear goal in mind to best practice meditation. What are your priorities? What are your needs? What are your core values? What do you hope to achieve with meditation? With such clarity, you’ll most effectively make use of meditation, and reap the numerous benefits.
Many companies, like Google, General Electric, and Adobe, embrace meditation and mental wellness at work. It’s important, though, that you as a worker also utilize meditation, as not every business will.
It is easy to start meditating at work. If you are ready, there are simple ways you can get started.
- Get comfortable in your desk chair, or sit on the floor.
- Close your eyes and breathe rhythmically.
- Focus on each breath while breathing deeply.
- Block out distractions — the more you practice, the easier it will be to tune everything out.
- Try to begin with five minutes, and attempt to reach 20 minutes over time, increasing in increments that work for you.
Mindfulness involves acceptance of the present. You do not always have to seek to change your situation immediately, but as long as you’re aware of the situation and your reaction, you can better deal with it. Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand, with one feeding into the other. As Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
Want an in-depth overview of meditation, check out our article 'What is Meditation'.
5 Short and Effective Meditations You Can Do at Work
Be Observant: When you are stressed and about to go berserk, you should give yourself a brief escape. Envision yourself and your situation as a movie in which you are the main character. You should decide how you would like for that character to move forward. Approaching a situation in this manner allows you to gain perspective and not respond impulsively.
Melt into Your Surroundings: Come to a comfortable rest with your eyes closed and slow breathing. Attention should be turned to the sensation of the body in your chair and your foot pressure on the floor. Awareness of the hands at rest on the legs should lead the way to scan the body from head to toe. Areas of tension and relaxation should be acknowledged. Then, attention should shift to all the sounds heard while in this state of relaxation. Notice sounds, but do not respond. This witnessing event is good for grounding yourself and calming down.
S-T-O-P Now: If you find yourself anxious at work, employ this technique. As tension rises, remember the acronym STOP:
- S – Completely stop what you’re doing.
- T – Inhale and exhale five deep breaths.
- O – Think about and observe how you’re feeling and if the deep breathing helped ease your tension.
- P – Proceed with your previous actions at peace.
If you become relaxed in the aftermath, the original task can be completed. If not, more deep breaths will aid in getting to a restful position.
The Silent Mantra: Create your own phrase, or mantra, to be repeated during meditation. Simple phrases like “breathe” will suffice, or something more meaningful like “I am here, and I am enough.” The mantra should be repeated over and over again in your head, aligning the words with breathing for consistency and rhythm.
Your Happy Place: If an escape from the workplace is needed, a visualization meditation could help. You should imagine where you would rather be if you could be anywhere in the world. It could be a tropical island or a mountainous getaway. Set a phone timer for five to ten minutes to set aside time to enjoy the peacefulness of your happy place. Every aspect of the place should be taken in, including the smells, sights, and sounds. This meditation is a getaway from tension at work, allowing you to manage stress levels and start over.
Want to learn more about how to meditate? Check out our article 'How to Meditate'.
Achieving Your Goals with Sofia Health
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