Woman meditates and relaxes at work

The job as the epitome of stress and hectic? Most people say: Yes! Many don’t exactly perceive their workplace as a place of inner peace. But should it be? The more relaxed you are, the more productive and satisfied you will be. Reason enough to do something about the stress factor at work. In this article you will learn how to bring relaxation to your workplace through meditation without being considered an office guru.

Letting go: stress starts in the head

It sounds trite, but it’s true: stress starts in your head. The fact that you perceive a situation as hectic, difficult or stressful has a lot to do with how you evaluate the situation. No two people experience the same situation as equally stressful. So you are not helplessly at the mercy of your negative feelings, because the “stress” is not irrevocably linked to the situation itself. [1]

Regular meditation for beginners can help you to look at situations that you have previously found stressful in an open and non-judgemental way. Studies show that through meditation people learn to let things be as they are. Instead of reacting anxiously or with stress, they can take the situation calmly. [2]

But to be able to develop such an attitude from one day to the next is unfortunately wishful thinking. The only thing that helps is constant practice and patience – and a few clever steps along the way.

Meditating at the workplace: Unobtrusively recharge your batteries

Brief meditation on the job has already found its way into many offices. The colleague who leans back with pleasure in between, recharges his batteries for a few minutes and then throws himself back into the fray with motivation is already a familiar image for some. However, this is by no means true in every company and even less so for people who don’t work in the office. So here are a few tips on how you can meditate at work and train your mindfulness without attracting too much attention.

Breathing exercises in everyday life

What you can do anywhere without risking weird looks: breathe! Classically, you probably want to meditate in an undisturbed place. In an empty break or meeting room, in a nearby park or, if you can’t find peace anywhere else, even on the toilet (be careful not to breathe in too deeply here!). Breathing exercises can also be done right at your desk, and you don’t even have to close your eyes. Over time, you will become better and better at concentrating on your breath. You can find small exercises for in-between in our “4 breathing techniques for relaxation“. After such a power break, you will feel fresher and more concentrated.

Short walking meditations

Another possibility is the walking meditation. You walk a few steps every working day anyway, whether to the coffee machine, the toilet or the next meeting. Concentrate on your steps. Feel how your feet feel as you walk, how you breathe and what the air around you feels like. Mindfully and consciously put one step in front of the other. There is no set pace, although slow walking is a better meditation for beginners. If you like, you can use your imagination and imagine yourself walking on clouds or flowers sprouting from your footprints. By concentrating on your steps, you quickly and easily distance yourself from your work and return to your place more refreshed and mindful.

Meditating in the morning

The early morning hours are particularly suitable for a classical meditation. At this time it is often still quiet in the office because colleagues have not yet arrived. Meditating in the morning gets you in the mood for the day and contributes to a relaxed start to the day’s business. Simply close your eyes for a few minutes, let a short guided meditation take effect or start the morning with a mindfulness minute – you already have your own little relaxation ritual before the impressions of the day take over you. You can find mindfulness minutes to start the week on our YouTube channel, for example.

Relaxing at the workplace: No chance for permanent stress

In addition to small meditation breaks, there are two other important points of reference for successful relaxation at work. The long lunch break and the longest break of the day – the end of the day – are particularly important for a healthy work routine.

Get some rest: Take a real (!) lunch break

At the lunch table with your colleagues, ruminating over the last meeting, discussing tomorrow’s assignment or generally complaining about all the impossible to-dos? Forget it! You need a break, take it.

Grab your favourite colleagues and go for a run around the block or walk alone through the park. Fresh air clears the mind – don’t use the break to think about which project you’ll tackle first afterwards. In the canteen, too, the job is banned. Talk to your table mates about the weekend or that cool new hobby you want to start. Who knows, maybe you have more in common than you thought?

Switch off: The end of the day is your time

Leave your job at work! After work, your head is all yours. Don’t rack your brain over the next day’s presentation or that strange closing remark from the unloved colleague. Take a breath and let the work fall away from you. If you find this difficult, take a few minutes and write down what you want to do tomorrow and which points you want to think about again. This way you have a clear start the next day and more importantly, you get your thoughts off your mind and onto paper. You are sure that nothing important will be forgotten. Now you can go home and really relax.

List of sources

[1] Maguire, Sabine: Der Stress beginnt im Kopf. Westdeutsche Zeitung, 18.1.2009. Letzter Zugriff: 21.12.20, Online.

[2] Blech, Jörg: Die lernende Seele. In: Spiegel Psychologie, 08.12.2013. Letzter Zugriff: 21.12.20, Online.

 

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