It is very advantageous to extend your mindfulness meditation practice to the workplace. There are many different kinds of meditation and frankly most of them don’t lend themselves to the workplace because they involve practicing in such a way as to separate you from the interactions of the workplace. Approaches like chanting, visualization and deep relaxation are great practices but are not at home in certain environments particularly at work. Mindfulness meditation on the other hand is perfect for bringing into the workplace because it is simply paying attention to the present moment on purpose.
It is a great way of extending your meditation practice into your daily life and because so many of us spend at least eight hours a day at work, it gives us that much more time to practice the important present moment attention skills. Here are some simple ways you can bring your mindfulness practice into the workplace.
- When you first get to work, sit at your desk for a minute or two connecting with your breath and physical sensations. This can be done with the eyes open or closed as present moment attention does not require the eyes being closed like we do in other forms of meditation. Bring awareness to how you are feeling as you prepare to begin your workday activities.
- Use your phone as a reminder to be in the present moment. When the phone rings, instead of rushing to answer it let it ring three times all the while using those three rings as an opportunity to fully experience your breath as it is in the present moment.
- When taking a food or drink break, use the time as an opportunity to mindfully eat or drink by using all five senses to experience the food and/or drink. This too can be done with the eyes open and can be done at any speed. If you have time do it slowly, if you don’t have time, do it quickly. Present moment attention is available at any speed.
- While talking with others be fully attentive while listening. There is a tendency to think about what you want to say while listening to others. This results in only a partial understanding of what is being said. Be fully present while you speak. Your words will make more sense and you will become an excellent communicator.
- From time to time, make a point of stretching mindfully. You can do this while sitting or standing. Stretching is a great stress reducer and is an opportunity to fully experience how your body is feeling in the present moment. At the same time use the stretching as a reminder to pay close attention to your posture as you are working. The stretching will remind you how your body should feel and those feelings will guide you to the correct posture.
Begin with these five practices and you will shortly discover other ways to bring your mindfulness meditation practice into your workday activities.