We don't know about you, but the work week can get pretty hectic (if not very stressful) and we find ourselves coming home from the office everyday more worn out than the day before. With a new year upon us and a fresh start, we thought maybe now's the time to start implementing some healthier habits to combat the stress and create some peace and quiet for the mind. For years, we've scoffed at the idea of meditation (who has time for that?!) thinking we were way too fidgety to sit still and "focus on our breath." But the truth of the matter is, once we started practicing it we couldn't get enough. By definition, meditate simply means time spent in the quiet to promote relaxation. That doesn't sound too hard right? Today, we're lending some helpful tips on how to meditate at the office so when the work starts to feel like an overload, you can unload.
1. Drink Water
Yep, Mom was right. Drink more water! The human body is more than 60% water. Not only do you need water to live, but you also need it to live optimally. Water nourishes and cleanses the body while calming and grounding our mental state. As you drink water throughout the day, you're continually giving your body a gift of health and nourishment - and giving the gift of gratitude is its own form of meditation!
2. Go to the Bathroom
Sometimes you just need to get away, and the one thing we can all make time for is going to the bathroom. I mean let's admit it, we've all snuck away to the bathroom stall just to get five minutes of peace and quiet. And you know what? We encourage you to not be ashamed of your little secret and in fact do it more often! The bathroom is the perfect excuse to leave, and now it has become your meditation space. Twice a day, retreat to the bathroom just to sit still and breathe for a few minutes.
3. Bring Attention to the Body
The body is always, without fail, present in the moment. So when we bring our attention to the body, our mind follows suit and becomes present in the moment as well. Start by sitting down comfortably and closing your eyes. Make sure your feet are apart, placed on the ground. Relax your shoulders and place your hands on your lap, facing upwards. Take a few deep breaths in and let your body relax with each exhale. Start your focus at your toes and imagine a wave slowly working its way up from your toes to the top of your head. Relax your belly, chest, back muscles, neck muscles, jaw, and head as you slowly work your way up. Remember to breathe steadily as you do so.
4. Extend the Exhale
First take notice of your breathing. Are your breaths heavy? Are they short and shallow? Start to take longer breaths by inhaling deeper and exhaling longer. Count to 4 as your inhale, hold for a second or two, and then exhale over a count of 6. After some time, this will calm the body down by promoting the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for slowing down your heart rate and allowing the body to relax.
5. Triangle Breathing
To start, inhale and exhale once completely. On the next breath, inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4, and then exhale the breathe for another count of 4. Draw this triangle of breath for a few more rounds. If you feel comfortable, extend the count further for your next few rounds. If you feel like you're running out of breath, simply return to a more manageable count. Concentrate on this method of breathing for about 3-5 minutes.
6. Alternate Nostril Breathing
To begin, sit comfortably with both feet on the ground. Place your right hand close to your nose, so you can block your right nostril with your thumb and your left nostril with your ring finger when needed. Your index finger and middle finger can rest on your forehead. First close your right nostril and inhale solely with your left nostril. Pause for a moment. Let go of the right nostril and close the left nostril. Now breathe out of your right nostril. Inhale again while alternating back and forth between the nostrils. Continue for about 2-5 minutes and then return to your normal breathing.
Now committing to finding the time in your day to meditate can be the real challenge. So we recommend either setting a timer on your phone or simply being diligent whenever you start to feel the wave of stress creeping over you! We promise these simple habits will promote a healthier, calmer you. Namaste 🙏.