Juggling a ton of work at the office with the demands of your personal life? Throw in the worsening traffic situation, and it’s a recipe for stress and a quick temper. This is where meditation comes into play. It may seem difficult at first, but once you get used to the practice of clearing your mind and centering yourself, you’ll find that it gets easier every time. You don’t even need a yoga mat—in fact, you can do it anywhere!
We’ve listed some ways you can fit some simple meditation exercises into your daily routine. Why not give them a try? We bet you’ll be feeling more relaxed and energized in no time!
1. Focus on a specific item on your desk.
Feeling overwhelmed at work? Place a static visual cue at your workstation; it can be something as simple as a note stuck to the edge of your computer screen or a smooth stone paperweight on your desk. Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor, and focus your gaze on that item. Breathe deeply, feeling the air filling your lungs. Hold it for a beat, then exhale. Visualize yourself letting go of all your problems and stress one by one as you breathe out. Repeat this as needed.
2. Savor every bite of your lunch.
Sometimes, you may feel that there isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish everything you need to do. So you continue your tasks while you eat or rush through your lunch to get back to your desk. To avoid burning out, use your lunch break as your time to recharge. Try eating by yourself and placing all your attention on your food. Really taste it instead of just going through the motions. This will give you a much-needed mental rest and refresh you for the rest of your day.
3. Take a mindful walk.
As you walk from your desk to the bathroom or from the office to your car, take the time to slow down your steps. Turn your thoughts inward, and be aware of the motions of your body—the rhythm of your breathing, the swinging of your arms, the sensation of your feet touching the ground. By focusing on your movements and not your destination, you’ll be able to quiet your mind and set your worries aside for the moment.
4. Channel your inner Zen in your car.
Traffic is one of those things that you can’t control, but you can control how you react to it. Instead of stressing over it and getting yourself all worked up, keep calm and controlled. Settle into a comfortable sitting position that allows you to remain alert. Relax your grip on the steering wheel, and be aware of the sights, sounds, and sensations around you without dwelling on them. This works best with the radio off, but if you need music to put you in the mood, choose a Zen playlist or a meditation soundtrack.
5. Schedule check-in times on your phone.
You know how you somehow feel better when someone asks you how you’re doing? Be your own friend by checking in with yourself several times a day. Schedule regular alarms on your phone, and when they go off, stop what you’re doing and be still. Take deep, even breaths as you observe how you’re feeling at that moment. Do not dwell on your thoughts or emotions—simply acknowledge them, then let them go.