When one hears the word meditation, a bald headed yogi sitting on a rock, busting out in a funky cross-legged position may come to mind. Believe it or not, there are many ways to produce a meditative effect throughout your workday without bending yourself into a pretzel. Here are 3 easy ways to chill out throughout your day, no rock required.
1. Getting fired up? : Just breathe
When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and can result in a number of adverse physical reactions. Our heart rate rises, we perspire, our muscles tense and our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Not fun….
Studies have shown that certain breathing exercises activates the parasympathetic nervous system which reverses the not so fun impact on our bodies noted above.
Next time you find yourself getting riled up, open or close your eyes and try this simple little breathing exercise:
- Inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose and say to yourself “5”
- Inhale, 4
- Inhale, 3
- Inhale, 2
- Inhale, 1
- Inhale, 0
This exercise is portable and can be done anytime, anywhere! Try it!
2. Walking: Strut your stuff with a mantra
Many corporate employees I work with already use walking as a stress-busting exercise. Amp up the relaxation effects of this great physical activity with a walking mantra:
- Bring attention to your feet
- Take attention to the back foot, when the your heel lifts say to yourself “Lift”
- When the foot moves, say “Move”
- When you place the foot on the floor, say “Place”
- If your mind wanders off, say “Thinking” and then get back to it!
3. Eating: Focus on the food
When I was in the corporate world, I found myself sitting in front of my computer, fork in one hand, typing emails with the other. Studies have shown sitting in front of a computer results in more eating and less appreciation for the food in front of us!
Next time you take a lunch break, step away from the computer and try this mindful eating exercise:
- Engage your senses while eating!
- How does your food look? Observe the colors!
- How does it taste? Chew nice and slow (20-30 bites per mouthful)
- What does it smell like? Take a whiff before you chow down….
Focusing on your food will get your mind off your deadlines so you can return to your desk calmer and ready to tackle the rest of your day, no problem.
Would love to hear which of these tactics worked best for you!