Meditation for Desk Dwellers
In the midst of a busy workday, taking time to meditate can seem laughable. Who has time for that? Who could get away with it? Guess what? You do, and you can! Here’s how.
Pack away your perception that meditation needs to take place in a special place, in the lotus position or with absolute peace and solitude. Meditation can be two minutes out of the day, at your desk, or in your car. When you carve out a few minutes to be with your breath, meditation can reduce stress and anxiety and boost concentration and productivity. Every desk dweller has time for that!
So how can you get away with meditating at work? Here are four tips:
- Unplug. If you find that you are checking emails or your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night, meditation can help ease the transition. Turn everything off and set devices aside.
- Focus with Samatha. Also known as “calming meditation,” samatha meditation increases your focus and productivity. To do this exercise, take two minutes to focus on one object. Gaze softly at it, without attaching any judgment to what it is or whether it is suitable, and be aware of the rising and falling of your breath. Whenever you notice that your mind has wandered, just bring it back. You may want to set a timer to go off after a few minutes so you are not preoccupied with how much time has passed. Enjoy some time to think about just one thing!
- Meditate in Your Car. Need a little more privacy? Head to your car and turn it into your own little zen fort. Turn on the air conditioning if needed to make it comfortable,and set a timer for five to ten minutes. Sit comfortably and gently, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Car meditation may be a good place to try a guided meditation like this one found on Sound Cloud. Try this before or after meetings that may stress you out!
- Take a meditative walk. Walking is a great way to boost energy and burn calories during the work day, but a meditative walk takes it to a new level. Leave your to-do list in the office and head out into nature for a mindful walk. As you walk, notice your pace. Notice how your feet feel on the pavement. Notice how the sun feels on your skin. Perhaps try to follow the advice of Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn and “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” Take in the scents, sounds and sensations of your walk. The to-do list will be there when you get back, and you’ll have a renewed energy to tackle it!
Meditation can feel elusive in the most serene of settings, but it is in its simplicity that we find the most satisfaction. Relax – you can do this. Slow down, take a few moments for yourself, and start with your breath. Practice a little bit each day until sinking into meditation before, during, or after stressful times at work becomes your new normal, one breath at a time.
Heather Fuselier, CTTS, CPT, CHC
Health Advisor | E-Mail Heather