Meditate To Alleviate
Stress at work can be the worst. Work is the place where Americans spend most of their time, and it can be the cause of a lot of stress. If you find yourself ready to explode at your job, perhaps it’s time to institute a practice that can help reduce your stress and ultimately make you a better worker. Meditation is an easy way to de-stress at work, and it takes hardly any time at all. Over the last decade, meditation has really come into its own. Many believe that it not only positively affects our bodies and our minds, but also that it can reduce stress, take the place of medication in some cases, and even prevent heart disease.
There are many myths surrounding the practice of meditation, including the thought that it reserved for holy men. Not so! Meditation techniques can be as easy as concentrating on your breathing or repeating a mantra in your head.
Another myth about meditation is that you need to completely clear your mind to do it, but meditation is not about stopping your thoughts, it’s about finding the quiet that exists between them. Once you start meditating regularly, you’ll be spending more time in this state of finding that space between your thoughts and using it to de-stress.
Of course the biggest concern with meditation is people think they don’t have time for it. You need to make time for it. In just a few minutes, you can decrease those stress hormones and refresh your body and mind.
Some people think that medication requires some sort of religious or spiritual commitment, which is not true. Meditating is about finding inner peace and quiet and getting more out of your life as a result of doing it. A lot of folks are disappointed when they don’t have a life-changing experience from meditating. There are a lot of experiences associated with meditation, but the real goal of the practice is to set yourself up for living your daily life the very best you can. After you meditate, you should be able to carry that stillness with you and stay more centered and productive.
Stress at work can come from a number of different sources. Clearly, your workload can cause you a large amount of stress; workers today have longer to-do lists than ever, and with all the daily distractions that go on in a workplace, completing your daily tasks can be a bear. Coworkers can also add to your stress levels. Even if you get along with most of your fellow workers, there is some kind of drama in every workplace, and this can cause a lot of stress to everyone, even if you’re not directly involved in it. Most parents these days work, and it can be unbelievably stressful to balance your work with your life. Children require a lot of time, and if you have a busy job you often can’t provide it, which…wait for it…causes stress.
When you have a lot of stress at work, it’s impossible to be a thoroughly effective worker. With stress decreasing your creativity and increasing your ability to become distracted, your work will suffer. Workplace stress not only affects your mental health, it also wreaks havoc on your physical health; the correlation between heart attacks and work stress is well documented.
Deal With It
One way of dealing with stress at work is to incorporate a daily meditation in your workday. No matter how busy you are, it is likely you can take 10 minutes for yourself, particularly if the activity you do during that time will make you a better worker. If you have an office door, shut it.
If you don’t, find a quiet place and create your own Zen moment. Meditation can deliver many benefits, but one of the most important ones for reducing your work stress levels is that it teaches you how to combat distractions, making you more productive at work. Researchers have found that meditating can produce an instant stress reduction effect, so it certainly can’t hurt to give it a try.
What Do I Do?
Meditation is defined as simply spending time in quiet thought for relaxation. Note: this does not mean that meditation needs to be void of thought, a popular misconception. All you need to do is think quietly. You can meditate just about anywhere…at your desk, even in the bathroom. The most important thing you need to do when you meditate is be mindful of your thoughts.
Music has a reputation for soothing the soul; it is know to slow the pulse and blood pressure as well as decrease hormones that cause stress. One really important thing to remember throughout the day is to breathe deeply and exhale slowly. This activity can reduce overall stress levels quickly and impact your attitude for the entire workday. Just take a moment and consciously relax each body part, starting at the top of your head and going to the tips of your toes. As you relax each part, breathe deeply and exhale slowing, whisking away negative thoughts with each breath.
Drink more water! You’ve likely been hearing this for years, but as it relates to meditation, it’s an easy exercise. This earth element cleanses, de-stresses, and grounds us emotionally, so the next time you drink a glass of water, make it a meditation; concentrate on how lucky you are to have clean water to replenish your body and keep it healthy. Even going to the bathroom at work can be a form of meditation. Just hang out in a stall and be relaxed and quiet for a few minutes; stretch your arms and legs, and of course breathe.
Imagery can be a powerful tool for meditation. If you’re sitting at your desk and feeling really stressed, take a few minutes and close your eyes. Imagine that light is running through your entire body from head to tote, keeping your feet planted to the floor; next, imagine the light is surrounding and protecting your body and keeping you present. After you see yourself inside the light, breathe deeply and carry on with your day.
Nature in itself is a meditation. There is nothing like a beautiful nature scene to relax your mind and body. If you don’t have access to nature at your workplace, make your own! Bring in a rock garden, some plants, some beautiful crystals or stones, and/or a pretty fish in a bowl. When you’re feeling stressed out, look around your little personal nature reserve and meditate on being thankful; you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel after a little natural gratitude session.
Winning At Work
Learning to meditate at work is a win-win situation for all involved. It can provide you with a number of mental and physical health benefits and make you a more pleasant person to deal with at work. You have nothing to lose in trying to cut down on work stress by meditating, so get started without delay!