Office meditation: the evident and the nearly unbelievable

Chronic stress has become our constant companion. We already wrote about escaping it, but today let’s talk more about another efficient way – meditation. Its effectiveness has been proven by centuries of practice in the East. Today we are witnessing an overwhelming popularity of meditation in Europe and the USA. Progressive companies even practice in-office meditation classes. Today let’s talk about cleansing your own mind and rebooting your brain to avoid losing your calmness and concentration at work.

Workplace meditation: obstacles

If most of us will be able to come up with a secluded place at home to meditate, you can’t even dream of something like that in an office. Not too many people can afford the luxury of getting away from others, turning off phones and enjoying the silence. Most of us have no private offices and work alongside other colleagues, our work place restricted to a desk and an office chair. Surprising as it may seem, even in conditions like those you can try meditation as a way to calm your nerves, release excessive emotional and physical tension and increase work efficiency. You will only need a few minutes to empty your mental recycling bin and get back to your desk totally reborn.

We are so used to associating meditation with Lotus position, it may seem strange to learn this is no more than a common stereotype. You absolutely do not need to sit on the floor pretending to be a marble statue. However, there are some essential conditions lack of which will make proper meditation impossible.

Essential conditions for meditation

Relaxation – before meditation try relaxing as much as you possibly can.

Breath control is one of the essentials when it comes to meditation. Be aware of your inhalations and exhalations – they must be deep and slow. Inhale one, two, three, hold one, exhale one, two, three.

Concentration –  to meditate properly it’s very important to focus on something. As surprising as it  may sound, you may even focus attention on things that are usually considered a distraction: traffic noise on the street, sounds of music playing on another computer, your colleague’s laughter … Just focus on something and let other sounds fade in the background.

Complete and total feeling of internal calmness – meditation is a process limited in time. So do your best and try to focus on relaxation, turn off all unwanted and irrelevant thoughts and push all your errands, problems and tasks in the background. It can all be dealt with later, and for now our goal is a full reboot.

Technique #1 – workplace meditation

Its defining characteristic is presence of a great deal of unwanted noise. Unless you have a private office, there will be a lot of such noise: music, conversations, laughter, street sounds, office devices, phone calls.  Since turning all that off is virtually impossible, you just need to concentrate on any of those sounds. Turn off your mind, just switch to that sound or noise completely and just listen to it, feel it in your body, contemplate it with your mind.

Allow yourself to think about nothing else but your sensations arising from concentrating on a specific sound. You are right here in the now and all your attention is focused on one thing and one thing only. Nothing else exists. If possible, consider putting in earphones and turning on some meditation audio. However, the technique of concentrating on noise described above often turns out to be more efficient than any attempts to get rid of unwanted noise.

Technique #2 – walking meditation

This is one of the simplest meditation techniques as it does not require any effort on your part. For the previous technique we recommended concentrating on a specific external noise, while in this case you need to focus on the process of walking and your sensations. Walking meditation comes down to fully concentrating just on your physical sensations: breathing, the way your muscle works, the way your feet touch the surface, the feeling of air brushing by your face, the feeling of warmth on your skin from the sun etc.

You will not be able to turn off  the unwanted noises either. But you can make them the objects of your concentration and mindful contemplation. Perceive all surrounding sounds through your body excluding  your mind from the process.  Obviously, walking meditation must be safe for you and people around you occurring only in pedestrian areas.

Technique #2 – meditation in seclusion

If your office is nearby a park, a garden square or as quiet patio, you can indeed afford the luxury of getting away from others. Without a doubt, a quiet secluded place makes it  a lot easier to  minimize unwanted noise compared to a bustling office. However, do not kid yourself thinking that means ideal conditions for meditating. Ironically, tuning to an internal wave in a relatively quiet atmosphere is even more difficult because of the incessant internal dialogue. Inside our heads a dialogue like that does not stop for a minute.

It can be quite difficult to make it stop. One of the efficient techniques is the stone technique. Any thoughts preventing you from blocking out reality are stones. You must see those stones with your mind and move them aside. In other words, calmly accept every thought and let yourself postpone thinking it over for some later time. Meditation is what you are doing now and the rest will be dealt with later.

After several minutes of meditation you can consciously return to the office to keep working…

It may seem everything over there is different. But it’s not quite what has happened. After a few minutes of calm internal contemplation and full relaxation it’s you who changed just a bit. The world around may look slightly different because your mind’s perception is different. The most amazing thing is that only a few minutes of relaxation can give you incredible calmness, clarity of mind and possibility to generate completely unique ideas.

Don’t let stress set camp in your life – reboot your mind and cleanse it of mental junk.