Human beings are continuously looking for ways to improve, from the rise of new healthy living standards including regular yoga and upgraded food choices, to the advent of new sharing economies such as Uber and Airbnb. As human beings look for ways to personally optimize our lives making them more efficient and enjoyable, companies are following suit. With the constant bustle of deadlines, assignments, and meetings, it's easy for the stress to pile up. Given that stress has undoubtably been proven to be a huge contributor of anxiety and depression, it is imperative to intentionally de-stress on a regular basis. Taking just a couple minutes each day to meditate can bring a once blur of daily responsibilities into a manageable focus that results in productive mindfulness.
"Practicing mindfulness leads to an increased sense of purpose and fewer feelings of isolation and alienation, along with decreased symptoms of illness such as headaches, chest pain, congestion and weakness." - Mark Williams, Professor of clinical psychology at Oxford and co-author of Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic Place
Your Challenge: Each time you sit down at your desk today, close your eyes and take 3 deep, slow breaths.
How It Works:
Step 1. When you sit down in your desk chair, DO NOT do a single thing.
Step 2. Clear your mind of all tasks you may have that day and concentrate on your breath.
Step 3. Inhale deeply for a count of 5, pulling your stomach inwards and filling your lower belly with air.
Step 4. Exhale slowly for a count of 5, concentrating on your breath and finding peace in the calmness.
Step 5. Repeat this breathing three times before beginning any work.
Step 6. Feel more present in your environment and get into the work flow with gumption.
Practicing mindfulness in the workplace can rejuvenate energy and increase the focus put forth towards your next task. It's not the number of hours we sit at our desks that determine the value we generate. It's the energy that is put forth in the hours we truly work. We are programmed to have a rhythmic pulse that spends and renews energy in the most beneficial way possible. We perform best when we maintain a steady reservoir of energy and health. It's necessary to constantly refuel this reservoir - physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
This practice will get you in the habit of releasing stress throughout the day in a much healthier and productive way. Instead of yearning for that vice to lift the pressure of work at the end of the day, stay in a great mindset throughout the day. Breathwork is the fastest way to calm your physiology when your mind is stressed. Just the practice of slowing your day enough to take three deep breaths brings you back into the present moment, allowing your vision to become more clear and lighthearted.
"The main business case for meditation is that if you're fully present on the job, you will be more effective as a leader." - William George, Harvard Business School Professor.