There are many things that are beyond our control, I get it! However, I truly believe that it’s possible to take control over our own states of mind and to change them for the better, if we should choose to! In fact, it may be the most powerful thing you can do for your own success.
Changing your mindset to view the world more positively, attract more abundance in your life, reach your goals and get more of what you really want is life changing! Anyone can do it.
And did you know that buddhists and scientific experts alike agree that mediation is one of the most effective ways to change your mindset.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. It encourages and develops concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a seeing of the true nature of things. Through meditation you can learn the patterns and habits of your mind. You can learn a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being and thinking, a more focused state of mind and a more productive way of living and working.
Now when you know all that why would any organization or business owner NOT want its employees to practice meditation regularly! Yet, for some reason this is not a common workplace activity. And taking time, even just a few moments, out of the work day to meditate will most likely be met with skepticism and in some cases outright disapproval.
I suggest you persist anyhow! Meditation could be the key to experiencing greater success in your career, so why not experience its benefits! Here’s a guide to help you incorporate some form of mindful meditation in your work day no matter what level of acceptance your company may have for the practice.
From easiest to incorporate in the workplace to most difficult, here we go…
1 - Surround Yourself With Nature
Nature is magical! When we surround ourselves with elements of the Earth our body, mind and soul become grounded and present. (It’s the way humans are designed!) Nature gives us permission to be quiet, makes us aware of our thoughts and helps us become mindful of the people and things around us.
While most people don’t have the luxury of working beachfront or out in the middle of the woods each day there are some ways you can create your own bit of magic right in your cubicle or office.
Bring in lots of plants! Choose low maintenance options. Have a fish, create a rock garden, start a shell collection or add fresh flowers. Every time you walk into your workspace be mindful of nature's influence there. Reflecting on the beauty of something living alongside of you is very meditative and is sure to be accepted in just about any workplace.
Once you have immersed your cubicle or office in nature's influence, find a way to be still and appreciative of it each day. Even if it is for just 30 seconds!
There you go! You have begun a subtle (even covert) practice of meditation at work.
2 - Listen to Binaural Beats - or Other Meditative Musics
Binaural beats work by sending a specific, different frequency to each ear. The difference between the two frequencies entrains the brain to the desired state of relaxation or a brain state of meditation. They can be created in the form of simple sounds, or over layed with complimentary music.
Binaural beats are found in many of the conflicting sounds we hear in nature, like waves crashing on the shore, contrasting with the sound of squawking gulls. Or a crackling fire mixed with the hum of chirping insects.
These sounds are naturally meditative and easily recreated through music. They are extremely powerful. Google it ;)
In many workplaces you may be allowed to play music at your desk, either quietly or through headphones. Take advantage of this and listen to something designed to help you ease into a state of relaxation.
This is relatively easy to incorporate in most workplaces because people don’t need to know you are listening to binaural beats. There are countless meditation tracks that overlay binaural beats with sounds of nature or soft music.
So put something on, breath deeply and enjoy a moment of sound guided meditation. You will feel better afterward and your co-workers will thank you!
3 - Practice Walking Meditation
Here is another easy form of meditation that you can do at work! And like number 1 and 2, most people won’t even know you’re meditating.
In walking meditation you use the experience of walking as your focus. You become mindful of your body and surroundings while you move about, and try to keep your awareness on specific details.
That could be as simple as focusing on your feet pressing down and lifting back up off the ground with each step, the way your arms swing as you move or the flow of your breath in and out.
This can be a very powerful way to incorporate meditation at work. Use it as you are walking between meetings, when you head out to lunch or even better - steal a few minutes away with no purpose other than to “take a walk”.
I actually used this practice of meditation with my kids when they were very young. (1-2 years old) Before they could sit still for any length of time or even understand what meditation was all about. I would have them quietly walk behind me and “copy” what I was doing. We would breathe deeply, walk slowly and take slow controlled steps. I called it meditation and they loved it!
You can do it at work too! This simple practice will give you clarity and help you refocus throughout the day.
4 - Find a Sacred Spot
Now here is where it starts to become a little more challenging and perhaps more visible to your co-workers, but it’s also where you can see even more consistent and meaningful benefits from meditating at work!
Find a place that you can enjoy solitude, even for 10-15 minutes a day. Perhaps you have an office and you can simply close the door? If not, maybe there is a shared meeting room you can reserve for 15 minutes daily or a private break area? If those are not options could you go to your car for a break or dare I say it...the restroom! I know that is not glamourous, but don’t tell me you’ve never stepped out of a meeting to hide out in the bathroom for just a few minutes of quiet time!
The important thing here is finding a space where you can remain un-interrupted for 5-20 minutes every day. A place that will allow you to breathe deeply (ok maybe the bathroom stall is not the best place) and relax fully.
If you can convince your employer to dedicate some kind of space like this I promise you it will change the way you work, it will make you feel better throughout the day and it will allow you to think more clearly.
This is a win for them just as much as it is for you so I encourage you to open the dialogue and find a sacred place at your office to make it happen!
I first got into the habit of meditating at work after I had returned to my corporate job after having my third child. I was still nursing and needed to pump in my office several times a day. I used a manual pump and if you’re a mom you will know that that device requires two hands at all times to get the job done! I was forced to do nothing for those 20 minute breaks but sit quietly and breathe deeply. I began using that time as meditation and even after I stopped pumping at work I continued taking those 20 minute breaks to recharge every day. What a difference it makes!
5 - Hire a Meditation Expert
Or at least talk to the decision makers at your office about formally incorporating meditation in your workplace.
Perhaps you’re a person with influence in your organization! If so, thinking of ways to help all employees experience the benefits of meditating at work would be a huge victory for your organization or business.
Imagine how engaged people would be if they saw you closing your office door for 15 minutes everyday in order to get grounded and clear prior to a big meeting. Wow! That sure would send a message of the importance self care plays in your workplace.
There are people who come to organizations like yours and help set up meditation rooms, teach employees the benefits of mindfulness and advise on how to make the workplace more conducive to experiencing a healthy work-life balance.
Now I know not all organizations can afford such services, and many will not see the value in it, but imagine if yours did! That would be epic :)
However you decide to incorporate the practice of meditation in your workplace I encourage you to start. Seriously! I wish you luck with it!
Thanks for reading!