One of the best things about meditation is that you can get into the present moment anytime and any place. You can meditate at work, in your office, at school, or even your kitchen table. If you need a quiet moment to yourself to do do a simple focused breathing meditation, your desk can be a great place to get a quick meditation practice in. So, if it’s the middle of the afternoon and you feel like you’re losing a bit of focus, you can try a quick desk meditation as you sit comfortably. Even a short meditation session can clear out your stress and allow you to concentrate on working. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about how you can meditate at your desk and take those deep breaths you need for your mindfulness meditation session.
Can meditating at work help you?
Yes, meditating at work can help you recharge your batteries and calm the mind during a challenging work day. Everyone has the power to avoid stress through exercise, good habits, and meditation. Meditation at work can help reduce anxiety, improve your relationships with your coworkers, and boost your work performance.
Studies show that meditation has benefits even if the sessions are short, so don’t worry if you’re short on time. Instead, just five minutes of deep breathing, clearing your mind, positive thinking, and letting your tension go can make you feel better about yourself.
Desk meditation improves your brain
A recent Harvard University study found that meditation can change your brain. Parts of the brain responsible for working memory improve if you begin practicing meditation. Working memory is what you need to thrive in a fast-paced office environment.
According to Harvard, the amount of grey matter in the part of the brain associated with working memory improves if you meditate, specifically by practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction. The brain can change – you aren’t stuck with the brain you were born with; there are many ways to make yourself calmer and more intelligent. It will grow if you use a specific part of your brain more often.
Desk meditation makes you more creative
While some argue that your intelligence is mostly fixed as an adult, it’s possible to increase it in many ways. You can even increase your creativity. Meditation can make you better at coming up with creative solutions to problems.
According to a recent study from a university in the Netherlands, people who practiced meditation and mindfulness performed better on problem-solving tasks. This may be because mindfulness gets you out of habitual, learned thinking and helps you think out of problems you haven’t encountered before.
Desk meditation boosts your mood
As well as making you more energetic and productive, meditation can make you happier. Anyone who has tried meditation seriously knows it can boost your mood, so studies back this up.
A Boston University review of the evidence proves that meditation reduces anxiety and depression. After reviewing 39 studies, researchers concluded that meditation has significant benefits. People who try meditation report significantly less severe depression and anxiety symptoms.
So, sit quietly and spend a few moments in a meditation practice if you’re looking to boost your mood from a mindfulness meditation.
Desk meditation reduces stress
The first thing people try meditation to treat is stress. If you’re often worried, you can feel better for the rest of the day after shutting down your intrusive thoughts for only a few minutes of breathing deeply. If you briefly stop worrying about your problems by bringing your attention to your breath, you’ll realize you can overcome feeling overwhelmed and enter a calming place in your mind.
Stress is a serious issue because it worsens a person’s physical and mental health. If you’re chronically stressed, you may develop addictions, hypertension, or even heart disease. Your quality of life largely depends on your ability to get your stress levels down in a healthy way.
Meditation is proven to reduce your stress levels. People who meditate are in a more positive state of mind, and meditation can even treat pain.
You don’t have to be in private to meditate, and you don’t even have to close your eyes if you don’t want to. You may be able to meditate without anyone noticing what you’re doing or without anyone minding.
Desk meditation can improve your relationships with others
Stress makes many people less social. If someone is stressed out, they might be mean to others or avoid talking to others. If you can reduce your stress levels, you can better get along with your coworkers.
Meditation helps you get in touch with your emotions. If you meditate, you can find insights into what you are feeling. This way, you will stop feeling angry at your coworkers because you will understand what they’re doing.
How to meditate at your desk
Desk meditation is easy. It doesn’t have to be very different from meditating anywhere else. It is the same practice of taking a few deep breaths and has the same benefits regardless of where you do your meditation practice to get into the present moment.
First, concentrate on your breathing. You can breathe deeply or gently depending on which is more comfortable for you as you release stress. Controlling and focusing on your breath clears your thoughts, slows down your heart, and begins the meditation process.
You need to be present in your body rather than your mind for the whole time you meditate. It’s normal if some negative thoughts come into your head during this time, practice mental noting if this happens, which is where you say “thinking” and re-focus on your breathing.
Focus on different parts of your body, one part at a time, and relax each one. For example, you might start at the floor and work your way up to your head.
Start with your feet and focus on nothing other than your breath and whatever sensations your feet are feeling. You may notice that there is more pressure on some parts of your feet than other parts.
Work your way up to your lower legs, knees, upper legs, and other parts of your head. This, on its own, should be enough to calm you down and lower your heart rate. It doesn’t take much to switch off moderate stress – merely controlling your breathing, not thinking in words, not allowing yourself to worry, and focusing on specific body parts is enough.
Another trick is to calm down is focusing on my heart rate. Stress may cause your heart rate to increase as much as a fast heartbeat causes you to feel stress. The physical symptoms might cause mental symptoms instead of the other way around.
If you focus on your heart rate, breathing can help it slow down. As your heart rate falls, your stress and worries typically go away. Suddenly, your problems are not so threatening; they’re things you can deal with.
You can follow the voice of a guide to help you maintain focus throughout the entire practice. Or you can play ocean waves or music to help you as you focus on your breath. Whatever helps you feel fully present is key and it makes a big difference. You can also practice visualization, such as your favorite beach. The goal is to help bring awareness to your breath at you sit in your desk chair in your office.
Reduce stress in many different ways
Caffeine and anxiety don’t mix. Drinking less coffee can help reduce stress as coffee is a stimulant. While caffeine is far less bad for you than sugar, and the polyphenols found in coffee have health benefits, coffee doesn’t calm you down and has the opposite effect. So even if coffee does more good than harm for many people, it’s not a good drink for people trying to lower their stress levels.
Alternatively, meditation works best in combination with other practices. Get some sun, or take vitamin D if that isn’t easy in your area in the winter. You can try a walking meditation outdoors by simply moving and focusing on your breath for five minutes or up to an hour as you control your mind’s attention and experience pure relaxation in the great outdoors.
Exercise and eat a healthy diet. Avoid habits that increase your stress. Meditation is effective enough to work independently, but you can become a low-stress person if you combine it with different health practices, like a mindful eating meditation.
Many companies encourage meditation/mindfulness
When you begin practicing desk meditation, other people might not even notice. For example, if you have your own cubicle, people might not notice what you’re doing for a long time. If someone sees you sitting with your eyes closed, tell the truth – your company will approve, and they won’t see it as a waste of time.
Many companies train their employees to meditate for twenty minutes at the start of every day. It’s easy to be stressed out in the morning – you might have woken up with an alarm clock and hurried to work. If you meditate a bit before you start working, the day will not seem long and difficult.
Companies also train their employees in meditation because stress is contagious. If some employees are acting stressed out, this affects how everyone feels. Calmness can also be contagious.
You can speak with your workplace about Declutter The Mind At Work, which will allow your workplace to pay for your meditation practice, so you can be more productive at work and breathe in moments of high-stress. Alternatively, you can download the Declutter The Mind app for personal use, so you can be more mindful with a regular practice, after all practice makes perfect.
Stress leads to more stress; calm leads to more calm
Frequent stress can worsen your physical and mental health, making you stressed out more quickly. This can lead to a vicious circle of stress leading to more stress. You can break this circle even if you can’t take much time off from work and other responsibilities. Use desk meditation to keep your stress levels low at work. If you do this for long enough, you will get used to not being stressed all the time, and the stress won’t easily return. Trying the technique in this article or following along to a guided meditation on the Declutter The Mind app can be a great way to take a moment to rest when life or work gets kinda heavy.