Stress now causes over 40% of all work-related illness, making it more important than ever for you to be paying attention to your mental health in the office. To keep yourself relaxed and in good shape, practicing meditation can be key.
Meditation is therapeutic technique that teaches users to focus their awareness on the present and what they are trying to achieve – making it easier to work your way through tasks without worrying about everything at once.
Meditation is not only a great stress-busting exercise, but also helps focus the mind and make it more productive, keeping you in tip-top condition at work.
1. Grounding Yourself
Grounding yourself is a great way to start your day or reset when you feel overwhelmed. The idea behind this technique is that it helps you reconnect with what’s going on around you.
One of the most common methods for grounding is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Sit quietly and:
5: Name five things you can see around you
4: Name four things you can feel
3: Name three things you can hear
2: Name two things you can smell
1: Name one good thing about yourself
This will help you take time out to re-focus at the start of a day and prompt your mind to think about the present. Ending on a positive note is a great idea too, as it means that you are starting your day or task with a confident mindset.
2. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can stop you feeling overwhelmed at work.
These exercises can be simple and subtle, so they’re perfect for the office when you just need to take a step back from a stressful task or let go of something that isn’t going to plan.
Sit somewhere quiet and focus entirely on your breathing and the sensations that surround it – the falling and rising of your chest and the inhalation and exhalation of air. Imagine an object or pattern expanding and shrinking in time with your chest. Once you feel relaxed you’ll be able to take a calmer and more productive approach to your work.
3. Take Effective Time Outs
It is easy for everything to get on top of you if you do not give yourself adequate breaks from work. Regular strolls or stretches around the office, even just to the bathroom or to make a cup of tea, can make a significant impact on your focus and stress levels at work.
At lunchtime, leave your work station and sit in a staff room or canteen if possible – anywhere that isn’t your desk.
This physical disconnect from your workstation will enable you to relax more effectively.
Consider introducing activities to your lunch break which will help improve your meditation. If you are able at your office, try starting a lunchtime yoga session. If this isn’t feasible, try something smaller, like talking with colleagues, reading a book or sketching.
4. Declutter your space
Meditation and stress can be affected by the area you work in. Physical clutter on your workstation can quickly translate to mental clutter.
Keep your workspace clean and organise physical documents by placing them in labelled drawers and folders. Make an effort to clean up any mugs, bottles or plates as soon as they are finished with, and pop any other items into a desk organiser.
Decluttering will not only make you approach work with a clearer head, it will increase your productivity by making everything easier to find.
5. Write an Achievement Note
Sometimes at work it is easy to feel that you aren’t achieving much, especially if you are working on a lengthy project that takes weeks or months to complete. Get more satisfaction from your job by writing an achievement note at the end of every day.
This is a small physical note – only a line or two – which records something you have accomplished during the day. Creating a notebook of achievement notes will make you end your day on a positive. Consult this record to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling demoralised.
Have you got any tips for how you can introduce meditation at the office? Let us know on Twitter @Viking_Chat