Meditation is a simple practice that offers countless benefits. If you’re new to meditation and find yourself spending a lot of time in the office, take a light approach to your practice. Don’t worry about all the images you see in magazines where you have to sit and look a certain way or chant complicated sounds. The benefits of the practice come to those who keep it simple, too.
The biggest rules are to trust yourself, be patient, and keep meditating on a regular basis. That’s all you have to do to see positive effects take place in your life over time.
Meditation can be enjoyed anywhere, so if you spend a lot of time in the office, try starting right there. Meetings, deadlines, and workloads can be stressful, and meditation can help reduce that stress, relax your body, heighten your concentration, improve your focus, and make you a happier person in general.
If you find that you’re too busy to meditate—or even leave your office chair—try these five exercises. You can do them at the office, and they’re simple enough to get started right away.
Close your eyes and count your breaths silently. An inhalation and exhalation is one full round. Keep your count at the bottom of every exhale, and slowly make your way up to 108 rounds.
Observe Your Breath
Use a time app or set a timer to the desired meditation time so you don’t have to worry about time-related thoughts or distractions. Once you start the timer, just close your eyes and sit still observing your breath until the alarm sounds. Start with five minutes and slowly build up to 20 minutes.
Use your desktop wallpaper image as a meditation. You can even set up your computer to rotate between different wallpaper images. Make sure you have calming, soothing images as your wallpaper—like waterfalls, sunrises, mountains, and forests. Slow down your busy “thought freeway” and just enjoy the imagery.
Find nurturing music that brings you a calm state of awareness, usually soft instrumental music is appropriate. Use headphones so you don’t disturb your co-workers. Close your eyes for 10 minutes and relax back in your chair.
If you’re new to the practice, sometimes you need to follow the leader. Audio guided meditations will tell you where to focus your thoughts—step by step—to help you find a calm state of mind. Here are some free, guided meditations for you to enjoy from the Chopra Center.
Finding time to meditate is one of the biggest hurdles for people just getting started. These simple meditations can be done right from your office chair in as little as five minutes. Get in the habit of doing a meditation at the same time each day, for example, every day right when you get to work, at lunch, or before you leave for the day. Start small with five minutes of your favorite technique, and build to longer periods of time twice each day.