As professionals in today’s globalised, tech-driven business world, we know that the nine-to-five workday and five-day workweek are things of the past. With the instant connectivity of smartphones, tablets and laptops we’re on call 24/7, 365 days a year (even when we’re on ‘holidays’). We bring the office home in our pockets, which may be good for business but isn’t good for our health. Our work related stress levels are rising. In fact, in a recent study, not only were standard working hours averaging out at 48 hours per week but over-committed and/or over-invested employees were found to have poorer cardiovascular health!
Although a digital detox may be needed, it may not be practical. However, meditation may help us to let go of work related stress, alleviating the tension headaches, muscle cramps and anxiety attacks that a highly stressful working life can cause; it may even increase our productivity levels! By bringing the mind into union with the body through focused relaxation, meditation in the workplace can offer instant relief and give you control over your stress levels and bring some balance to your life at work and at home. We’ve compiled some easy, office-friendly stress busting exercises to relieve stress at the office, between meetings or even during business travel!
Calm yourself by focusing on breathing deeply from your diaphragm. Place your hands on your stomach so you can feel your abdomen inflate with air like a balloon as you slowly breathe in through your nose and deflate as you slowly release the air out through your mouth. Count the length of each breath in and out to help you stay focused.
Take a moment to relax by using your imagination to escape to your favourite place. It could be a memory from your childhood, or where you last holidayed, or you could just imagine somewhere peaceful like a deserted tropical beach.
Take some deep breaths, close your eyes if you can and very slowly tense and release each muscle in your body. Starting with your toes and working your way up to your face, tense each muscle on your in-breath and release on your out-breath. If you carry your stress in a particular area, like the lower back or the neck specifically focus this exercise on these muscles.
Meditation at work can effectively reduce stress and increase mental efficiency but can we use these skills to help switch ourselves ‘off’ at home too? Yes, of course we can! Here’s a few extra tips for ways to de-stress yourself at home.
Switch off (in more ways than one)
When you first get home from the office, you need to give yourself some time to relax and disconnect from the stresses of your work day so you can reconnect with your life at home with your family and friends. A short mediation session is a great way to do this but first you need to turn your smartphone, your tablet and your laptop OFF.
Take a class
Why not take a yoga class, or go to a guided meditation session after work or on the weekends? You will be surprised by the amount of gymnasiums and recreation centres that offer evening and weekend group yoga classes and meditation sessions. Even better, why not get your family involved, or take a friend and spend some time relaxing together!
Unfortunately, stress comes from all aspects of our lives; we stress about work, about money, about health and about the future. Although meditation will help you bring a bit of peace to moments of high stress, give yourself some permanent peace of mind and consider life insurance. Life’s full of ‘what-ifs’ but by comparing and choosing a life insurance policy that will protect your family’s future, you’ll have one less thing to stress about and more time enjoy life!