Practicing The Art Of Meditation At Work
Meditating at the office isn’t always easy to do. But taking even two minutes out of your day can increase productivity, improve concentration and boost your mood. And according to a study, meditation can dramatically reduce your stress and anxiety.
The idea of being the co-worker sitting in Lotus Pose with closed eyes may seem silly and uncomfortable, but there’s more than one way to meditate. You can calm your mind while sitting at your computer or by making a quick escape outside.
So how can you get away with meditating at work? Here are few tips:
1. Practice Samatha Meditation
Also known as “calming meditation,” samatha (sha-mah-tah) meditation increases your focus, helping you be more productive. While everyone is laser-focused on their work, allow yourself two to five minutes of staring at one inanimate object.
Don’t attach any judgment to this object, but simply focus on the rising and falling of your breath. Whenever your mind wanders or gets distracted by an external noise, draw your awareness back to your breath.
It’s often practiced with the eyes open — usually partially open — but if you’re at work surrounded by people, it’s fine to practice with your eyes completely open. As long as you’re focused on one still object and your breath.
2. Listen to Binaural Beats
Quiet your monkey mind, as the yogis say, and entertain your brain waves by listening to binaural sounds while you work or on your break. Binaural beats are two tones that have slightly different frequencies — one played into your right ear and the other into your left ear.
When you listen to sounds of different frequencies, your brain combines them and levels them out. For example, let’s say your left ear hears a frequency of 100 Hz and your right a frequency of 10 Hz. Your brain will perceive a sound of 90 Hz, which can help put you in a deeply meditative and focused state.
This happens in nature, too. For example, when you hear the different frequencies of frogs croaking or the ocean waves moving, your brain harmonizes the sounds and calm your mind.
3. Take a Meditative Walk
Take advantage of this walk to let go of the thoughts on your to-do list and just be aware of your footsteps.
As you walk, focus the soles of your feet and recognize the pace at which you naturally move. Do you choose to walk a little faster or slower at this moment? And become aware of your senses in this present moment with each step you take. Is the ground hard or soft? How does the temperature feel against your skin? What objects do you see? What do you smell in the air?
You can also do a short meditative walk with headphones, listening to meditative music or binaural beats.