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Stressed Out at Work? Meditation May Help You

Meditating can involve deep breathing and mantras, but it can also be as simple as listening to your favorite song or mindfully smiling.
A woman sits at her desk with her eyes closed and a hand on her forehead.

When most people think of meditating, they think of being in a special place (like an island!), sitting on the floor, with feet crossed. But that doesn't have to be the case.

Work causes stress. It happens. But when it does happen, taking a few minutes throughout each day to calm yourself will not only help relieve the stress, but clear your mind and let new ideas flow. Doing this every day regardless of your stress level will help you stay relaxed and stress-free both in the moment and in the future.

Meditation at your desk can be done in any of these ways:

Take a deep breath. Sit at your desk with your feet flat on the floor, close your eyes and take several deep, slow breaths. Pay attention to your breathing. Notice how your chest, shoulders and abdomen move with each breath.

Smile. This may seem weird, but forcing a smile does help you relax. When we frown we use more than 100 muscles, but smiling only takes the work of 3 muscles. Again, set your feet flat on the floor, and then smile. Pause after a few seconds and smile again. Do this for one full minute.

Put on some music. Take a few minutes, put on your favorite song, close your eyes and just listen to the rhythm and the beat. It’s that simple.

Observe the noise around you. Stop, close your eyes and listen to the noises in and around the house. Maybe it’s the delivery truck outside, the kids playing, the dogs breathing, or the television. You just meditated.

Find a positive word to repeat. My word is "Hawaii." It makes me happy to think about that place. Plant your feet on the ground, close your eyes and repeat the word in your mind over and over again for about a minute. Pause. Then repeat. Your mind will wander, but that’s okay. Just come back to the word when it does.

“I am” Mantra. Fill in the blank: I am____________. Mine is "I am lucky." I think about my husband, kids, job and how lucky I am that we are healthy and living a good life. Steady your breath and repeat your sentence in your mind a few times.

Be mindful of everything you do throughout the day. Don’t be a robot during the day. Take time to notice everything your hands touch and your body does. How does the coffee feel hitting your lips in the morning? Notice how the papers feel in your hands while you walk to your mailbox. Notice how the words move on the screen as you type.

You don’t have to do all of these every day. Maybe pick one each day and try it. To be successful in your work and everyday life you have to be calm and stress-free. These meditation methods will help you achieve that goal.

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