Our busy lifestyles can make self-care seem out of reach, but it doesn’t have to be. If you shift your mindset from “I don’t have time for that” to “I’m willing to make time,” the time will show up!
Mindfulness Meditation means paying attention, purposefully and non-judgmentally, to your experience in the present moment. Meditating can help us regulate our own emotions so we can better pay attention to other people and act more altruistically.
There are situations where our minds run wild and project negative outcomes on situations that haven’t even happened. Worrying about things you can’t predict robs you of the moment you’re living in. Let’s get you back down to Earth!
What is Meditation?
Meditation can help you feel more calm, present, joyful, and self-aware. Meditation isn’t just good for your brain, it actually has the ability to change the physical structure of your brain. That’s called neuroplasticity. With regular meditation practice, the higher thinking processing center of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, is strengthened. However, it’s easy to shy away from beginning a meditation practice; the idea of quieting the mind or sitting in stillness can be intimidating.
Myths of Meditation
Let’s bust through the limiting beliefs that keep us away from meditation:
- I can’t meditate because I can’t quiet my mind
- I’m too busy to meditate
- When my mind slows down, I’ll begin meditating
- I tried it and it didn’t work for me
Tips to practice Mediation at work place
- Raise your hand if you’ve ever brought your work home with you — whether literally or figuratively. I can guess most of you have your hands held high. Work stress can carry into your commute, your personal relationships, your evening activities, and of course your sleep. So how do you leave the stress and emotions from your workday at work? All you need is five minutes to get organised for the next workday and five minutes of quiet to let go of your busy day and de-stress.
- About five or ten minutes before you need to leave the office, wrap up your work and create a list of to-dos for the next day. Once you get organised for the next day, turn off your computer and sit quietly at your desk with eyes closed so you can hit the inner reset button before you head home. If it’s too distracting, make sure this happens before your drive home. Try a short meditation on the bus, train, car, or subway. Find a park or quiet space on your way home to break up the commute, connect with nature, and let go of the worries from your day.
- If you find that some of the stress you are bringing home is actually coming FROM your commute — take some time to meditate as soon as you walk in the door before you do anything else.
What you do mean by Mindfulness?
On the other hand, Mindfulness is a quality, which human beings already have, but they have usually not been advised that they have it, that it is valuable, or that it can be cultivated. Mindfulness is not thinking, but being aware of thinking as well as aware of each of the other ways we experience the sensory world, i.e., sensing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling through the body.
Mindfulness Meditation is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience, and compassion. Consistent daily practice promotes the development of stability, inner calmness, and non-reactivity of the mind. In turn, this allows us to face and embrace even the unpleasant or painful aspects of daily life.
As human beings, it seems it is natural for our minds to wander frequently. We’re often lost in daydreams about the past or the future, even thoughts about the present moment. Most of these mental distractions aren’t very useful and quite often produce stress, anxiety, fear, worry, and all sorts of emotional suffering.
Regular daily practice of Mindfulness Meditation builds our ability to pay attention to our immediate experience — The Now — helping us to overcome such pre-occupations so that we can clearly see what is happening in our actual lived experience of the present moment.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation:
- Don’t overthink it or put it off, just begin.
- Aid your experience with essential oils or Chakra Sprays. Aromatherapy can get you into a more relaxed and guided space.
- You can try everything from guided to walking to creative visualization to singing meditations. You’ll find one that works for you.
- Have fun with it. Don’t judge yourself if you think it’s hard or you’re doing it wrong. You’re not.
- Find a spot that works for you. Maybe your bed, bath, or the parking lot outside your office is your happy place, or perhaps nature soothes your mind.
- Become aware of when you’re not fully present. Are you at work waiting for a text from the person you had a first date with last night? Are you at dinner with your family wondering if your boss thinks you’re not doing a good job? Are you scrolling social media feeling FOMO and wondering if there are parties you aren’t invited to? These are things we obsess about, but don’t have clear answers to. What are these negative thoughts and projections costing you? How do they make you feel?
- Name the fears and projections that keep you from living in the present moment. When you name it, you know it, and then you can change it.
- Change your environment. If you’re spinning out at work, get up and take a walk or check in on a coworker you enjoy spending time with.
- Sit erect but relaxed in a straight-backed chair with your feet on the floor. If you cannot sit, then lie on a mat on the floor or on your bed. Allow your arms and hands to be as relaxed as possible.
- Gently close your eyes and focus your awareness on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Feel the sensations the air makes as it flows in, down your throat and into your lungs.
- When your mind wanders, gently shepherd it back to the breath. Minds wander. It’s what they do. The act of realising that your mind has wandered — and encouraging it to return to focus on the breath — is central to the practice of mindfulness.
- Your mind will eventually become calm — or it may not. If it becomes calm, then this may only be short-lived. Your mind may be filled with thoughts or powerful emotions such as fear, anger, stress, or love. Whatever happens, simply observe as best you can without reacting to your experience or trying to change anything. Gently return your awareness back to the sensations of the breath again and again.
- After a few minutes, gently open your eyes and take in your surroundings.
The practice is to simply relax and wake up to the awareness of what is happening in the present. Get out of your head and out of your way!