3 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Meditation at Work
In today’s world, we are constantly stimulated by technology, work, advertisements, and those around us. In fact, Stress.org reports that 80% of American workers feel stress on the job, and almost half need help in managing stress. It can be really hard to disconnect from these distractions and mentally declutter. Mindfulness is, according to Mindful, “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” At its core, it is the ability to tune out the world and become present with oneself without judgment.
One of the forefathers of the practice of mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction is Jon Kabat-Zinn. In his book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, he says, “Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simple to realize where you already are.” Mindfulness practice and meditation are ways that you can decompress, destress, and better understand yourself as a person.
While mindfulness meditation benefits are numerous, one of the major improvements it can make in your life is becoming less stressed and more present. This can help you at work by allowing you to take a moment to practice meditation techniques and mindfulness techniques to reduce tension in the workplace.
There are many ways that you can practice mindfulness meditation at work and most are simpler than you would expect.
- Take two minutes before work to meditate.
Find a space where you feel comfortable, sit however you’d like (or stand, do a headstand, lie down) and check in with yourself. Let your mind wander and block out any distractions. Leave the phone/computer/tablet at your desk.
- Take a walk.
Go outside and be in nature. Meditation doesn’t have to be the traditional image of sitting cross-legged and chanting “om.” It is simply the practice of spending time quietly in thought. This can manifest itself in many different ways.
- Close your eyes at your desk and say a mantra in your head.
Maybe you just received a stressful email or had a tough meeting. Natalie MacNeil recommends using the “time tap” meditation technique of placing your hands in your lap, lightly tapping fingers together starting with the pinkies, and saying a mantra in your head. Some examples are “I am in control” or “I can handle this.”
Meditation benefits include increased focus, positive impacts on health, less anxiety and depression, helping better emotional well-being, increasing mental strength and cognitive skills and creative thinking, better information processing, and more. If your boss or manager asks you why you practice meditation, just send them this list of the benefits of meditation.