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Meditation & Work

Back view of pretty Asian young woman in red robe sitting on floor meditating in lotus pose.

Meditation at work seems like an anomaly. But the busier we are the more there is the need to be meditative. Companies the world over are now recognizing its effect on employee well-being and productivity. For instance, Google has a meditation class as a part of an internal course called ‘Search Inside Yourself’. The course is aimed at helping people manage their emotions; ideally making them better workers in the process. The co-founders of Twitter and Facebook regularly hold in-office meditation sessions to enhance mindfulness.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that meditation can revamp brain circuitry and change the way we perceive stress and deal with it. People who regularly meditate have better focus, are more creative, are less prone to anxiety and have a heightened sense of self-awareness. Plus, meditation is also known to slow down the aging process and enhance immune function.

One paper cited by Google even implies that meditators are more resistant to the flu.

Other than incorporating meditation as part of your daily routine, there are several mind-body techniques which you can practice during your work hours to center yourself in the midst of a busy day. This will help you feel calmer and more empowered to deal with any situation.

So select one or all of the following depending on what suits you best.

➢ Root yourself – Imagine yourself as a giant oak tree, with your torso embodying the trunk and your feet the roots. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and feel the ground beneath your feet. Now imagine sturdy roots growing from below your feet and into the ground, strongly anchoring you to the earth. Simultaneously feel the earth’s energy going up through your limbs and strengthening you.

➢ Create your own special mantra of life affirmations – Create three statements that immediately make you feel empowered and good about yourself. Maybe it’s your favorite prayer or mantra or even a compliment given by someone. Use the phrase that you feel instantly connected to and uplifted by. Repeat it at least 5-6 times every day.

➢ Take a Zen walk – Anything done with conscious awareness can become a meditation. Walking is one of the simplest ways to center yourself, and the best part is you can do this anywhere. Start by walking slowly. Feel each step. Imagine that your feet are talking to the ground.

➢ Snap your fingers to change your thought – We all have self-limiting thoughts which go around in a constant loop in our mind and come back with a frenzy when we are feeling stressed. Thoughts carry great power and if the wrong ones are allowed to trespass they can do great damage. The antidote is to associate distinct physical acts (e.g., snapping your fingers, pressing your left wrist) with the determination to cut the unhealthy chain. This will also bring you back to the present moment so that with practice these thoughts lose their power over you.

Finally, remember that learning how to center yourself is different from actually feeling centered. Just as you can’t learn to swim by reading about it, you cannot experience the benefits of being centered until you practice the techniques.

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