Some Tips for Relaxing and De-stressing at Work
We all know work can be a place where we experience stress, tension and anxiety — it is also important to recognize that we can be most effective, efficient and productive when we are relaxed and operating from a sense of poise. Here are some suggestions that might help you nurture and maintain a sense peace and equanimity throughout the workday.
Set aside 5 minutes to do the following exercise. Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Sit up straight yet relaxed.
1. Breath — Focus your attention on your breath — observe how you are breathing. Is it shallow, short and somewhat tense? Make a conscious effort to slow down and deepen your breathing.
2. Relax — Consciously relax the muscles in your face, particularly around your eyes and ears. Soften and relax your neck and shoulders. Try doing some gentle neck rolls and shoulder shrugs. (Ask any yoga teacher — we keep a lot of stress in our face, neck and shoulders).
3. Concentrate — Count as you breath in and out. Work on slowing down your breathing. Make an effort to use your entire lungs for each breath. Feel the cleansing effect of these deep, slow breathes.
4. Imagine — Try to feel you are breathing in a solid feeling of peace.
5. Mantra — Either in silence or out loud repeat the word "peace" for the duration of each outward breath.
Observe how you feel before and after this exercise. We all have abundant peace inside our hearts that we can access at any time. Unfortunately for much of our lives we forget this most valuable resource and we spend day upon day becoming more stressed out, less efficient, less productive and a lot less pleasant to be around.
A few minutes meditation can help us enormously. We become centered, have greater clarity and are able to make better decisions. I once saw a video of myself presenting at a meditation class both before and after a meditation exercise. I was shocked at the difference — how much more effective, clear, concise and focused I was after leading a meditation exercise. Up to that point I thought of myself as fairly constant with minor variations — that video showed me something very different.
Finally, this five minute exercise will serve as a "Top-Up" to help get you through the day operating at your serene optimum but is by no means a replacement for a good solid meditation practice each morning.
About the Author
Salil Wilson has been practicing meditation for 27 years under the guidance of Sri Chinmoy. Salil also serves as the Executive Director of the World Harmony Run, an global Torch-Relay - promoting the ideals of peace and international understanding.