How to Use Meditation to Get More Out of Your Day
The art of meditation became a mainstream trend in the United States in the early 1990s when a scientist named Jon Kabat-Zing published his book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (1991). Thanks to his work, many Americans have since learned about meditation benefits for achieving a more relaxing and satisfying lifestyle.
For beginners, meditation may seem like a spiritual technique that relaxes body and mind, allowing you achieve a state of mindfulness and happiness. However, many find that these meditation techniques can be helpful in boosting productivity and activity throughout a working day.
What is meditation?
According to TheBuddhistCentre.Com, meditation is the process of transforming your mind. Some professional meditation books categorize this process into secular and spiritual types. Secular meditation focuses on calming the mind and relaxation. Spiritual meditation is concept that is more difficult to comprehend, that aims at understanding the concept of global love and the so-called “common mind” gathering all people’s consciousness in the world.
What are the possible benefits of meditation in the workplace?
A lack of focus, stress, and negativity in the workplace happen more frequently than you know. However, meditation teachers suggest that a simple 5-minute mantra meditation or other type of mediation at work may help you achieve many benefits including:
Meditation may help you feel more calm and positive towards other people. You can actually get rid of many of the negative thoughts you may be thinking while stressed, and prevent your mood from remaining negative. Meditation can help you get out of a funk.
Following meditation routines or meditation mantras daily can be helpful in training your mind to focus even in a negative environment. People who meditate regularly claim that they more quickly engage with work tasks and concentrate on task fulfillment even under the pressure of a deadline.
Time management can be easier
When your mind is focused and relaxed, it can be easier to prioritize work and daily tasks. This time management can save a lot of time, nerves, and money.
Daily meditation can make you more tolerant and patient, and can increase your ability of acceptance and empathy. All these qualities can lead to better teamwork.
Meditation tips for your work day
While working in a cubicle surrounded by dozens of colleagues and employers, it can be challenging to sit in Lotus position or sing an Om meditation mantra. However, there are a few tricks that you may use for including the relaxing meditation technique to your work day:
Consider starting your day with a few minutes of mindfulness. You can set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than what it is right now and use this time to prepare for the day. After waking up, sit on the floor or on a chair and take ten slow, long breaths. Slow and deep breathing can clear your mind and make you more relaxed. After breathing, list ten things you’re grateful for, lingering on each thought for a few moments.
Meditation during walking
On your way to work, while walking, you may try one of the simplest types of meditation. It may help you to be fully aware of the surroundings and everything happening within you. At first, shift your attention to your feet stepping on the ground. Ask yourself – how does it feel walking? Are you feeling stiff or aching? How does the air around you smell? Try enjoying the moment and find some positive things to look at.
Mindfulness during your lunch break
To keep your mind balanced during the work day, take a few minutes to breathe and slow down during your lunch break. While sitting down to eat, consider pausing for a minute to be grateful for the food on your table. Instead of saying grace, you may say in your head or out loud how grateful you are for the meal and how much you want it to make you nourished and healthy. Ask your body to receive this food and let your mind know if it wants something else to eat. After saying this, try smelling your food, paying attention to the colors and textures. In this way, you can create a positive mood that may even improve your digestion.
Meditation in line
While you are standing in a line at the bank, Starbucks, post office, supermarket, train stop or anywhere else at work, you can use these minutes to practice meditation. Try focusing on your body and imagine how tension building in your shoulders and legs slowly goes away. Look at people surrounding you and try analyzing how do they make you feel. If you feel sad or anxious, try understanding the source of this feeling, Focus on happy people and things surrounding you. A simple observation may significantly occupy and calm your mind, along with the reduction of mental tension building from waiting in a line.
Breathing meditation technique at bedtime
Your workday can start and end with a mind-clearing breathing meditation. The relaxation after a long, productive day can be necessary to get good sleep at night. You may try following a simple breathing meditation technique. Consider the following meditation supplies to enhance the calming experience:
- incense sticks with the aroma of lavender, valerian, or rosemary oils;
- an audio player to listen to relaxing music for meditation;
- dimmed lights.
Also, consider taking a shower before starting a meditation. A clean mind is likely to appear in a clean body. The aim of this preparation is to create a comfortable environment that stimulates relaxation and peacefulness.
The whole bedtime meditation may take up to 15 minutes. You can practice it like this:
- Play the relaxing music;
- Lie down under the covers or find a comfortable seat with your back supported and your head free;
- Stretch your legs;
- Place your hands on the stomach or put your hands in your lap or on your knees, palms up;
- Take 3 slow and deep breaths;
- Repeat for 10-15 minutes;
- Let the inhale and exhale breaths guide you into a relaxed state.
There are many forms of meditation and one type is not right for all meditators. Try different styles until you find something that works for you. Practicing meditation can be very beneficial, but remember that like anything, without consistent practice you may not see results.