Many people think you need a yoga mat, a dark room, and hours of time for their meditation practice. It’s actually quite the opposite. Meditation is as simple as focusing on your breath for a minute or two. While it’s good to have a routine and a quiet meditation space for your practice, it shouldn’t stop you from incorporating meditation into your routine. The most important thing is focusing your mind and getting rid of distractions momentarily. Your meditation practice is unique to you and it can be adjusted to fit your busy professional life.
Meditating at work may seem impossible because the environment is filled to the brim with distractions. The oppressive fluorescent lights and lack of privacy don’t exactly encourage relaxation. However, meditation is about centering yourself and re-focusing your energy regardless of the situation. All you need to meditate at work is 2-5 minutes of your undivided attention. Here are some tips on how to incorporate your meditation practice into your work schedule.
Set Your Intention For The Day
The start of your work day is hectic. You’re stressed about the amount of work you need to do and anxious to get started. It’s tempting to dive in head first. But your brain needs direction, it needs to prioritize and focus on what’s the most important. Taking 5 minutes every morning to set your intention for the day and visualize what you’re going to do will keep you focused and grounded all day long.
Find a quiet meeting room or put in some headphones on at your desk and drown out the distractions with meditation music or chanting. Sit with your eyes closed and do nothing but focus on your breath, 4 seconds in, 4 seconds out. Set your intention, or what you want to get accomplished that day, and try to focus solely on that. Visualize how you’re going to accomplish your goal and stick to your intention. You’ll be much more focused and your subconscious mind will align with what your conscious mind is trying to accomplish.
Practice Samatha Meditation
This calming meditation is easy to do at your desk when you have a few minutes. A quick 5 minute Samatha Meditation will give you a burst of energy and focus that you need to finish your day strong. To practice, Samatha meditation, pick an inanimate object on your desk and focus on it for 2 to 5 minutes. That’s it. Feel your breath rise and fall as you focus only on the object.
If your mind wanders, that’s OK! It’s normal. Concentrate and keep bringing your focus back to the object on your desk. You can also set a timer to let you know when to stop.
You can do this meditation with your eyes eyes open or partially open, whatever feels more comfortable to you, the important part is focusing on your object and your breath.
Download a Meditation app
Meditation apps offer guided meditations and music that will help put you in a peaceful, balanced, focused state of mind. If you’re having trouble meditating or can’t seem to separate yourself from the work environment, these apps have guided courses that will keep you on track and guide you through practice.
Apps like Headspace or Insight Timer have meditations designed for improving your productivity and focus at work. They’re also highly customizable and will fit any length of time or situation that you may find yourself in. You can also measure your progress and find a meditation that fits your style.
The best part? These apps are free! They have premium features you can purchase but it costs you nothing to give it a try and see if it works for you.
Take a walk to clear your head
“Unplugging”, both figuratively and literally, from work and taking a walk outside can immediately improve your mental state. It allows you to collect your thoughts and incorporate some physical activity into your day instead of sitting for 8 straight hours. Moving your body will improve your circulation, lower your blood pressure, and lower your stress. The lack of screens will reduce stress and anxiety by giving your brain a much needed break to compartmentalize the flood of information it’s trying to process.
Taking a walk also gives you the opportunity to meditate. Walk to a local park or a bench and get a quick session in. Surrounding yourself with nature will calm your mind and the meditation practice will have you coming back to work rejuvenated.
Listen to Binaural Beats
Binaural beats have been proven to help memory, attention, stress, pain, headaches and migraines after just one song. Binaural beats are two different tones played at slightly different frequencies which produces a calming effect on your brain.
When your brain listens to two different frequencies it levels them out which can put you in a deeply relaxed, meditative state. If you cannot get away or even take 5 minutes to meditate, binaural beats can help soothe your mind while you work.
You’ve probably felt a similar feeling from just being out in nature. When you hear crickets and frogs making noise at different frequencies or ocean waves, it produces a calming effect. Binaural beats replicate these noises and will have the same effect on your mind as sitting on the beach, listening to the waves crash as you work.
Find a Practice that Works for You
There’s no “right” way to meditate. You need to find what works for you. If you don’t have the time, or you get too stressed out at work and need a break, meditating at your office will improve your performance, productivity, and reduce stress. Give it a try.