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How to Find Time and Space for Meditation in the Office?

by Jessica Fender

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Personally, I don’t get why every working space doesn’t already have a meditation zone. To me, it makes perfect sense for offices to set up meditation spaces and encourage (if not demand) everybody to take advantage of them. The health and productivity benefits that they would get would more than make up for the space cost. Unfortunately, that’s not how things are right now.

Though there can be no disputing how great meditation is for people, most still don’t practice it. Heck, in one study people preferred an electric shock to having to sit still. And so, those of us who want to meditate have to make our own way. Fortunately, it is possible. If you can’t find the time to go on a meditation retreat, it is still possible to meditate in our day to day lives, even if the office not only doesn’t encourage it but looks at the practice askew.

Know what it will do for you
people doing yoga

There are a lot of people who are skeptical of the professional benefits of meditation. To deal with them, it always helps if you know what the health and mental benefits of meditation actually are. So make sure you check a list of the benefits of meditation and read the reviews.

In that case, when somebody accuses you of being floaty, a hippie or anything else like that you can rattle off some of the benefits. It might not convince them to start themselves, but at least they’ll leave you alone. 

Noise canceling headphones
person working with headphones

If you’ve got an open office then everybody else’s phone calls, conversations, and irritating habits can be very distracting and add to the stress of your day. And though we can close our eyes, our ears are harder to shut down. For that reason, you should seriously think about getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones. You don’t even need to play music on them. Just as long as they get rid of the noise of the office, they’ll do the trick.

One thing that you’ll want to make sure is that your headphones are comfortable. The first pair I bought wasn’t – something I really realized only after a few weeks of use. It wasn’t that they were hugely uncomfortable, but it was sufficiently annoying that I couldn’t really let everything go when I was wearing them.

The bathroom
Person meditating by pool

We all go to the bathroom to get away from it all (oh come on, it’s not like you need to go as often as you do). So why not really get away from it all when you’re down there? Twice a day, just go to the bathroom and breathe. Don’t take your phone. That machine is a distraction if you’re trying to get more grounded.

Five minutes is generally enough to let you recharge your batteries without people starting to wonder what the hell you are doing every time you go.  

Pack your lunch and take it to the park
park bench

Nature has some incredible health-boosting effects. More trees on your street mean fewer health problems. That’s right, on your street! And most of the time we’re just passing those. Imagine how much better actually sitting among the trees would be.

So, take advantage of that. Go to a nearby park and sit down on a bench. Then, just breathe and listen to the wind rustle through the leaves. Again, for this to be the most effective don’t take your phone or at least turn it off completely so that checking it will take an extra bit of work. 

Find like-minded people in your office
group meditating

There are always going to be other people who are keen to do something like this. If you can recruit them then you can share tips, tricks, and advice with each other. Even better, if the group is big enough then it is entirely possible that you might be able to change the opinions of management towards the practice.

So, start converting some people. Then, when you’ve got a few, you might be able to book a conference room or something else where you work. Then, all of you can come together once a day and meditate together. This will make it easier to find that inner peace and will also create a new way to bond. 

Meditate between tasks
person taking a break

The great thing about meditating is that you very quickly win back whatever time you invest in it. That’s because it calms the mind, reduces stress and is by extension productivity enhancing. Of course, if you’re running around like a headless chicken then it can be hard to appreciate that.
So how do you find the time? The best space to look is between two tasks. When you finish one and before you start the other is a perfect time to take a few minutes. Remember, particularly if you’re starting out you don’t need to immediately go for an hour. A few minutes can be more than enough. Just close your eyes, focus on your breathing and do it until you no longer want to. Then get on with the next task. 

There is always time for you
Person standing in the sunlight

We are not machines. We cannot go on tirelessly without thought or concern. We’re people with wants and needs. The more attention we pay to that and the better we take care of our bodies and our minds, the more we’ll get out of our lives both in terms of productivity and enjoyment.

For that reason, don’t hesitate to meditate. It is a phenomenal relaxer and incredibly useful way to center yourself. And those are two things that will improve both the quality of your life and the quality of your work. 

By the same token, don’t let life get in the way! It happens too often and ultimately it will cost you far more than it’s worth. Just like exercise, meditation is something that we all should aim to do. Unlike exercise, you don’t need any special equipment or have to shower afterward. That means its perfect for the office atmosphere. So go on. Get your meditation on

Ready to get away from it all? Then check out these quick mindful retreats in Bali. 

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