With all the stigma surrounding meditation, it’s hard for many of us work-a-holics to understand the practice and how it might fit into our busy lives. This is an understandable attitude when we think about the perceptions of meditation: its time consuming, yogic and perhaps, a little too spiritual. Luckily though, none of these things are true. In fact, meditation is actually one of the most customizable and all-encompassing wellness methods out there! This is just one of many reasons employers are choosing to bring meditation into their workplaces and corporate cultures.
We know that the American business world is stressful and hard to navigate; there are meetings to attend, deadlines to meet, problems to solve and supervisors to oblige. And that’s just our professional lives! Add in relationships, exercise and a social life and it becomes easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Not only is stress bad for your body, it often leads to reduced work productivity, work-life balance challenges and mental disparities. This is where meditation comes into play. According to sources like Forbes, BBC and CBSNews, meditation is becoming the fastest and most effective way to reduce work-related stress. While the practice is still fairly new and experimental in American workplaces, employers and employees alike are giving meditation (and its comprehensive benefits) a shot. Here’s the basics and how we recommend making meditation at work, work for you.
Firstly, know this: meditation doesn’t have to be this time consuming and super spiritual event. It’s as easy as taking a few moments to focus on your breath and your breath alone. Don’t worry about the time, just a few moments or even a few minutes is enough! Your journey is yours to cultivate, if you’re looking for spirituality then integrate it. If not, that’s okay too.
Second, meditation is an anywhere and everywhere sort of practice. Feel free to meditate while walking, sitting, running or even, laying down.
Third, there is no “right way” to meditate. There is no need to ever wonder if you’re doing it right because “right” doesn’t exist. The first step towards feeling better is putting in the effort. Know that the effort alone is enough.
Now, for the tips and tricks. Just like Forbes, BBC and CBSNews, we’ve got some ideas to help you begin your meditation journey. Here is a compilation of their tips and ours at Just Be, too.
Tip #1: Find a Purpose
Understand your purpose for beginning a meditative practice. If you are feeling stressed and want to reduce it, let that be your purpose. If you’re looking to be more comfortable in your own skin, let that be your purpose. No matter what, ensure that you’re beginning your meditation journey for the right reasons!
Tip #2: Make a Commitment
Meditation is a challenging practice. Taking time for ourselves is hard when we feel like there is so much to be done. This is WHY taking time for ourselves is most important though. We cannot take care of others without first taking care of ourselves. Make it easy on yourself, set a schedule or a goal and stick to it. “Meditate once a day, for five minutes” is both measurable and doable. Commit to yourself and your journey. Don’t stop after a few attempts, make a solid effort towards regular meditation and time with yourself.
Tip #3: Keep informed
The BBC and Forbes resources recommend keeping your colleagues and your supervisors informed about your meditative practice. We couldn’t agree more! The more folks you inform, the more likely you are to feel confident in your need to have time, space and support for your meditative practice. We also recommend that you keep yourself informed about the practice itself. Read a few books, watch a couple videos or maybe, find a guide or coach. Whatever you do, keep informed.
One book we recommend: Wherever You Go, There You Are by New York Times Best-Selling author Jon Kabat-Zinn
Tip #4: Experiment and Have Fun!
As we’ve already discussed, meditation is yours to cultivate. Any time, any place you’d like to meditate, go for it! Forbes recommends walking, stretching and music too. Guided meditations are a great way to get started and feel comfortable in your practice. Do not be afraid to try new things. Again, there is no right or wrong way to meditate, what’s important is understanding what works for you and making it happen!
Good luck and as they say, “Namaste.”
Looking for resources for your workplace to begin a collective meditation journey? Locally, check out Grace with BoostYourZen. BoostYourZen is helping employees and executives reduce stress and improve productivity through workshops and meditation.