Meditation is nothing new. And it doesn’t require anything that you don’t already have in this exact moment.
That’s the beauty and simplicity of meditation–there’s nowhere to go, nothing to own, nothing to lose, and everything to gain by finding stillness during a chaotic day at work.
Too often we fumble through our days at the mercy of demands–our bosses, our clients, or schedules, or our chaotic thought-filled minds.
It is so easy to get sucked into the fast pace of daily life that most people forget what it is like to notice their breath. To be aware of their bodies. To simply watch their thoughts pass by like leaves on a stream.
That type of presence, connection, and attunement to our present experience is all too rare in our personal and professional lives. And the more we get back to that state of mind, the better we feel, the clearer we think, and the happier we become.
As a coach and licensed therapist who frequently teaches mindfulness techniques to clients, I wanted to write a brief article on tips that my clients find helpful when learning how to meditate.
Some of what I discuss are different ways to practice mindfulness meditation. Others are resources commonly recommend. My hope is that someone new to meditation–or new to consistently practicing meditation–can read this article and then re-connect with the present moment.
Read the list below to discover 7 ways to practice mindfulness meditation at work.
1. Use a popular meditation app for a quick refresher.
There are many great meditation apps to try. I recommend downloading several free apps until you find one that feels like a good fit. When working with clients, I recommend are Insight Timer and Headspace the first two . Headspace is great for beginning technique and Insight Timer has many incredible free guided meditations for a wide range of experiences and expertise.
2. Before jumping into your task list, take five minutes to count your breaths.
As little as five minutes can make a big difference in your day. One of the easiest ways to engage in mindfulness meditation is to focus on the breath.
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Now take natural, even, rhythmic breaths. While you’re breathing in, count one, when you breathe out, count two. Once you get up to the count of 10, start over at one. This very simple meditation technique is excellent for new persons and individuals that want to develop razor-sharp focus.
3. Allow yourself to melt into the present by focusing on the sensations and
After you’re comfortable in meditation by closing your eyes and slowing your breath, focus your attention on the sensation of your body in the chair. To the pressure of your feet on the floor. Bring your awareness to your hands as they rest on your feet. Scan your body from head to toe to identify areas of tension and relaxation.
Then, turn your attention to all the sounds you can hear no matter where you are sitting. Pay attention to everything that hits your eardrum. There’s no need to respond or do anything–for these few minutes, you’re just watching your experience. This technique is great for feeling relaxed and grounded.
4. Deepen by noting your experience of eating during lunch.
Instead of rushing through each bite, savor them. Pay attention to the smell of the food, how it looks, and the complexity of its flavor. Bring your awareness to what it feels like to chew and swallow it. Allow yourself to be fully present in the eating or conversation.
In this type of meditation will help you reset and re-focus for the second half of your day.
5. Try a refreshing walking meditation outdoors.
Get out of the office and go deep into yourself. Stand still and bring your awareness to your feet, ankles, calves, knees, hamstrings, quads, and hips.
Start walking slowly and really pay attention to how it feels to walk – how many moving parts are involved in each simple step. Synchronize your breath with each step for bonus benifits.
This type of active meditation is not only relaxing, it can help you remove unnecessary stress from your mind and body.
6. Do the experiment while repeating a silent mantra.
Feel free to create your own motto or phrase to repeat during meditation. You can choose something as simple as “Relax,” or “I’m here, I’m here, I’m ready.”
After deciding which mantra you want to focus on, start repeating it over and over in your mind. Align your words with your breath so that it becomes rhythmic and consistent.
This type of meditation can help prepare you for upcoming events when you need to look your best.
7. Replace it with visualization-based meditation.
To try something new, try something. It can be as simple as imagining yourself sitting by a stream. As you sit on this stream, notice how beautiful the clear blue water flows from right to left. When you notice a thought, look at it as a leaf on the stream. Watch it float by while being in the calm presence of watching this scene happen.
This type of meditation is great for reconnecting with the present moment. Sometimes there are multiple leaves – and that’s perfectly fine! Notice them and you are meditating.
That’s what’s amazing about meditation – there are a million ways to practice it, and not one of them is wrong.
Press the pause button at work. Reconnect with your breath. And feel that deep peace that is always available when you get in touch with the present moment.