A recent Gallup poll of 7,500 full-time employees found that 44% feel burnt out at work on a semi-regular basis while 23% always feel that way.
Do you dread going into the office? Is your workday filled with ringing phones, constant e-mails, tense meetings, and zero silence?
If so, it doesn’t take long for that environment to affect you both physically and mentally. From irritability and sleep loss to muscle tension and high blood pressure, stress takes its toll.
The good news? There are simple meditation techniques you can perform at work to improve your emotional self-care and well-being.
Today, we’re sharing five ways to turn even the most chaotic office into a place of Zen by tapping into your inner calm.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Count Your Breaths
Before you even take a look at that mile-long to-do list on your desk, take a second to focus on your breathing.
Breathwork is a cornerstone of mindfulness meditation and one of the most effective ways to find your center.
Sit comfortably and close your eyes if possible. Take natural breaths, counting one as you inhale and two as you exhale. Once you reach ten, start over again.
Do this for five minutes at the start of your day. It will help improve your focus and fortify you against the pressure that awaits.
2. Focus on Your Body
Especially at work, we tend to lose track of what our body is trying to tell us. We work through lunch, down five cups of coffee before noon and hunch over our computers like Quasimodo.
This is why meditating at work is critical.
Once you’ve slowed your breathing and reached a comfortable rest, turn your attention to how your body feels in the chair.
Start at your head and work downward. From your hands on your knees to your feet pressing into the floor, take note of every touch and sensation. Notice the areas that feel tense and those that are relaxed.
Then, listen to all the sounds around you. Resist the urge to open your eyes and respond to the stimuli. Acknowledge and experience it, then move on.
This is an ideal way to improve relaxation and find quick calm. Try it out before a high-stakes meeting or a nerve-wracking phone call.
3. Leverage Your Break Time
Research shows that more than half of American workers feel so consumed with work that they don’t take a lunch break.
If you’re fortunate enough to get one, use this time to work on your wellness.
Even if you’re pressed for time, taste and savor each bite. Take note of how each morsel looks and smells. Then, focus on how it feels to chew and swallow.
Your break may only be 15 minutes, and that’s OK. Allow yourself to be present in your free time. This way, you’ll be ready to handle the rest of your day.
4. Repeat a Quiet Mantra
One of the best ways to find peace in the tension is to create a mantra for yourself and repeat it as often as you need to throughout the day.
This might be something as simple as “Be still.” Or, you could lengthen it to “Be still, be calm, be present.”
Once you’ve found yours, repeat it in your head. Align the syllables with your breath to give it rhythm. Then, when you feel your chest tightening or your head aching with pressure, repeat it until the intensity passes.
5. Try a Visualization Technique
Chances are, your idea of inner calm isn’t sitting in a cubicle with stacks of papers on your desk and chatty co-workers nearby.
To mentally escape, close your eyes and visualize yourself somewhere peaceful, such as a bubbling brook or an open field.
You aren’t just daydreaming in this instance. You’re meditating. Take the big-picture view and focus it. Notice how the water moves and how clear it is. How does the wind feel on your cheek? Feel the sun warm your face.
Outside thoughts will enter. Think of them as leaves on the water or a bird in the sky. Let them come into the scene, then leave it. When you open your eyes, your duties won’t seem so daunting.
Practice Emotional Self-Care All Day
Wherever you are, it’s possible to achieve mental clarity and calm.
It all begins by prioritizing wellness. If you make it a point to check in with yourself throughout the day, you’re less prone to allowing deadlines, pressure, and stress consume you.
The next time you’re at work, start your day with a few of these emotional self-care steps. Taking five minutes for yourself won’t put you behind. Rather, it will empower you to tackle the day’s responsibilities with a newfound sense of direction.
Want to learn more about how to make meditation a regular part of your daily life? Sessions with an integrative nurse coach can help.
Contact us today to get started, and stop dreading that Monday morning commute.