Mending your mind: Meditation at work

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What is the most important tool you use at work? Is it a machine supplied by your company? A computer? How about your hands?

For physical laborers, one of the above might be the correct answer. But in a business environment that’s constantly evolving thanks to advancements in technology, the most important tool in virtually every worker’s toolkit is the mind.

Computers are good at a lot of things, but they still can’t rival the creativity and problem-solving ability of the human brain. But stress from looming deadlines, personal problems and other external forces can limit your mental effectiveness. That’s why it’s important to address the influence of these forces before your mind becomes overwhelmed.

One effective solution: Meditation.

Though many of the remedies used before the advent of modern medicine have been proven ineffective, research suggests the centuries-old practice of meditation is a valid, effective method of managing a host of mental problems.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, research indicates that meditation may help alleviate the symptoms of several conditions, including:

  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • High blood pressure and heart disease;
  • Pain;
  • Sleep problems.

“Anyone can practice meditation,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.”

When done properly, meditation produces a state of relaxation and calms the mind.

“Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.”

Although meditation can take practice to perfect, taking a 15-minute breather to meditate at work can be more than needed to experience benefits.

 

If you feel like anxiety and stress are detracting from your effectiveness at work, try one of these meditation methods:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: “Mindfulness” means focusing on increasing your awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness meditation is about focusing on being in the moment. Paying attention to the flow of your breathing and allowing your thoughts and feelings to pass without judgement are common mindfulness meditation techniques.
  • Mantra Meditation: A “mantra” is a word or phrase that you silently repeat to yourself over and over to prevent distracting or unwelcome thoughts.
  • Guided Meditation: If you bring a pair of earbuds or headphones to work, you can use them as part of your meditation sessions. Guided meditation sessions are available for free on sites like YouTube.com, and several smartphone apps are also available. Guided meditation can be helpful to meditation novices, as a recorded voice will provide you with direction and help you achieve feelings of calmness.