Your workplace may seem like the last place you can meditate and find peace, but that shouldn’t be the case. Here is a meditation exercise you can do in and around your work breaks.
Meditate in the office? Seems a little counterproductive perhaps, but actually the opposite can be true! let’s look at how you can meditate for happiness and productivity.
A meditation exercise can be helpful in starting the day in a healthy, strong, enthusiastic frame of mind. It can be done while still lying in bed after the alarm has gone off, or between the time the snooze button was hit and the time the alarm goes off again.
The steps for this exercise are as follows:
1. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. With each breath, imagine your body getting stronger and healthier, until it is radiating with powerful energy.
2. Imagine yourself standing in a beautiful place just after sunrise, such as the beach by the ocean or the top of a mountain. Feel the sun shining warmly and the breeze blowing all around you. Listen for the sounds that you would hear in this place as life all around you is waking up to another day.
3. Imagine yourself stretching your arms out to embrace the new day, claiming it as your adventure. Then imagine yourself speaking in an unusually deep, clear and powerful voice as you state your intentions for the day despite any obstacles. For example, “No matter what happens today, I will maintain my sense of humor.” Or, “No matter what this day may bring, I will not forget what is truly important in my life.”
Take a moment to feel the effect of those words, and then begin your adventure.
Waiting can be very stressful. Take the following examples:
– Waiting for test results to come back
– Waiting for a child to come home
– Waiting in the waiting room of a medical office or hospital
– Waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery
During these stressful periods of waiting, it can be helpful to do a meditation exercise that relieves stress rather than allowing it to get worse as time ticks by.
Getting stressed out will not help any of the above situations, and is often harmful. Therefore, people are encouraged to try a meditation exercise such as the following:
1. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
2. Imagine yourself at the top of 10 stairs that lead down to a door. Imagine yourself taking one step down toward the door. As you do, your body feels more heavy and relaxed, sinking gently into whatever chair you may be sitting in. With each step that you take toward the door, your body continues to feel heavier and more relaxed.
3. As you reach the door, you open it and step out into the most beautiful, relaxing scenes that you can imagine. Perhaps you find yourself by a waterfall, or in a cool forest, or in the best vacation spot that you have ever seen.
4. Spend a few moments soaking up the sights, sounds, textures, smells and even tastes that you associate with this place.
5. Before coming back from this place, take something with you to give you strength and a reminder of this relaxing break from the worries of the day.
6. Come back through the door and climb back up those steps, feeling more refreshed and stronger with every step that you take.
7. Take a deep breath and open your eyes.
Thinking about stressful situations before going to sleep can trigger the stress response, which is the exact opposite of what the body requires in order to wind down and go to sleep.
A meditation exercise can help people to get their attention from their racing thoughts to their hard-working body’s need for sleep. The following meditation exercise may be done with soft music, nature sounds (e.g ocean waves) or a relaxation tape playing in the background. It may also be done in conjunction with a relaxation exercise or breathing exercise.
The Art of Relaxation
Though some people seem naturally able to relax, everyone can learn how to relax a little more effectively. This can be particularly helpful while driving, before eating a meal or before going to sleep. Relaxation exercises basically involve the flexing and releasing of major muscle groups.
People are often unaware of how much muscle tension they have built up in their bodies until they do one of these exercises.
Here are some tips to help you on your way…
Which relaxation exercise can be done in the car on the way to work?
Despite heavy traffic, episodes of “road rage” and other stresses related to being in a car, driving can actually offer a time of solitude and privacy if people choose to take advantage of it. Anyone can use travel time to relax by using relaxation exercises such as the following:
1. Squeeze the steering wheel as tightly as possible for a few seconds, and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when not squeezing the steering wheel.
2. Tense up your arms as hard as you can (without pulling on the steering wheel). Hold this for a few seconds and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when relaxed.
3. Shrug your shoulders up as high as you can for a few seconds and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when relaxed.
4. Push your shoulders forward as far as you can for a few seconds and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when relaxed.
5. Open your eyes as wide as you can (blink as necessary) for a few seconds, and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when relaxed.
6. Frown as strongly as you can, tightly clenching your teeth, so that someone who saw you might think that you were angry. Hold this for a few seconds, and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when relaxed.
7. Push your head as far back into the chair behind you as you can for a few seconds, and then let go. Pay attention to how different it feels when relaxed.
When people do these exercises, they may notice that they had been clenching muscles or holding in muscle tension without being aware of it. These exercises help to realize this and let go.
Which relaxation exercise can be done during a break at work?
The stress response takes energy from systems such as the digestive system and uses it to prepare the body for fight or flight. Unfortunately, that means that people under stress tend to eat their food too fast, swallowing it without enjoying the flavor or chewing it adequately. An hour later, they often find it difficult to digest their rapidly eaten, often unhealthy food, which can lead to heartburn and/or gastric reflux.
There are a variety of digestive disorders that are believed to be stress-related, including irritable bowel syndrome.
A relaxation exercise such as the following may be helpful:
1. Find a private place.
2. Tense as many muscles as you can, squeezing your toes, thighs, buttocks, shoulders, arms and so forth. Your hands should be balled into fists, your jaw should be clenched and your eyes should be squeezed as tightly closed as possible. Hold this position for several seconds.
3. When ready, relax all your muscles at once. Take a deep breath and feel the difference when fully relaxed throughout your entire body.
4. Enjoy your meal.
Remember, you really can meditate for happiness and productivity even if you are at work!
Read Terry Linde’s Deskercise Pt.1! for exercises you can do in the office.
Read more by Terry Linde & connect on his WatchFit Expert Profile.