Posted by Sophie Knox on 30 July 2014
In the past, many may have viewed the ancient Eastern practice of meditation as a hippie tradition. These days, however, mainstream businesses are recognising its usefulness, and the results speak for themselves. (Google has recently established meditation spaces at its global HQ.)
Whether you meditate at your desk, in a meeting room, on a park bench or in your car, the main goal is to disconnect from the outside world, and that includes your smartphone, tablet and computer. Meditation slows down everything, and in our busy, frenetic world, that can only be a good thing. Here’s how being mindful through the practice of mediation can help you in your working life.
Bring focus to your day
Start your day with meditation and watch the benefits roll in. Simply get out of bed and make meditation the first thing you do – a few minutes is all it takes. You’ll not only feel centred and in control of the activities ahead of you, but also have the opportunity to set your intentions for the day. Do you want to be positive and proactive? Then embrace it. Do you have an important presentation? Then use the mediation to bring energy to the process and calmness to what could be an anxiety-causing undertaking.
Not many of us can get through the working day without feeling tempted to stray – and we’re not talking about infidelity. Procrastination affects us all. And feeling frazzled about having too much work on your plate can lead to not doing any of your tasks well. One of the most helpful tools is to stay focused on the work at hand. Meditation can help improve the brain’s ability to concentrate, listen, retain information and complete tasks with resolve. The end result is feeling more productive and less strained in your daily undertakings.
See the best way forward
Daily meditation can bring clarity to your thought processes – quieting your mind allows you to sort the busy, unhelpful thoughts from the truly useful and productive ones. So when you hit a hurdle, your meditation can help you prioritise and see the best way out. A quiet mind allows you to make logical, emotion-free decisions instead of stressed-out reactions. Keeping your emotions in check is one of the primary rules in business, and meditation can help you achieve this liberated state of mind.
Ready to get started?
Choose the time of day that best works for you – before work, in the middle of the day, before bedtime or all of the above. Cast off distractions and greet yourself. Close your eyes and focus on the ‘in’ breath and the ‘out’ breath. Feel the physical implications of inhaling and exhaling, the movement of your diaphragm and the emptying of oxygen on its way out. Empty your mind of thoughts and off you go.
At first, you may want to opt for a guided meditation (head to iTunes or YouTube for a full complement of choices). The benefits will be obvious from the outset – your job will take on a new energy, and your view of yourself will become more confident and positive.
And remember: meditation is just one of several strategies to avoid your work affecting your health.