Mindfulness and Meditation in the Workplace
In today’s fast-paced world full of meetings and deadlines and multitasking, it’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed. As we continue to pile more and more on our plates, we become less present, effective, and happy – in our jobs and in our personal lives.
To help keep stress at bay, companies are increasingly beginning to introduce meditation into the workplace. There are many common misconceptions about meditation, such as that it’s just “nap time,” that it’s tied to religion, or that you have to sit on the floor cross-legged while humming “ommmm” over and over. On the contrary, meditation is simply a time for everyone to be present in the current moment.
Some employees may argue that they don’t have time in their busy day to “do nothing” for 10-20 minutes, but meditation has been shown to increase the productivity and effectiveness of employees. It helps clear your mind, allowing you to be better at decision making. It helps you have empathy for others, making it easier to interact with coworkers. And it helps you be present in the moment, forcing you to focus on what matters most instead of the minutiae.[i]
If you’re ready to try meditating at work personally or implementing a meditation group, here are some tips:
Schedule a time
It’s easy for meditation to get pushed to the back burner if you don’t schedule a time for it. Make meditating a reoccurring daily or weekly meeting on your calendar with an alert to remind you. Doing it at the same time every day or week will help you form the habit. Dedicate 10-20 minutes to meditating.
Find a comfortable, quiet spot
It’s nearly impossible to meditate among the buzz of workstations with people talking around you or wondering what you’re doing with your eyes closed at your desk. Instead, find a quiet conference room where you can close the door and reserve it for your meditation meeting time. It’s fine to sit normally in a regular chair, and if you’re meditating in a group, you can turn your chairs to all face one way or toward a wall so you can’t peek at each other. Turn down the lights to set the tone.
Seek some guidance
If you’ve never meditated before, it can be challenging to know where to start or what to do. Fortunately, as meditation becomes more and more common, there are many resources the help. Apps such as Headspace and Calm are great for guided meditation and will help you improve your mindfulness with each lesson. You could also invite an expert to come in and lead your meditation. In the Detroit area, there’s even a meditation truck that will roll up to your workplace to provide a cozy place to meditate guided by a teacher.
Making time for mindfulness may seem foreign at first, but with a little commitment and practice, you’ll begin reaping the benefits in no time. Happy meditating!
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