Close your eyes. Clear your head of all thoughts except your breathing. Repeat in your head “inhale” and “exhale” with each breath you take. Continue this for one minute.
Did you do it? Did you make it one minute? I’ll venture to guess some of you didn’t – I certainly didn’t the first time I tried. Taking the time, even one minute, to declutter your mind can be a really tough thing to do.
As meditation emerges as the new yoga, this practice is just one of many, many techniques employees are being encouraged to practice in the workplace. Stress is quickly becoming (if it’s not already) the number one epidemic of our society. Stress is related to so many emotional and physical conditions – anxiety, insomnia, heart disease and autoimmune illnesses, just to name a few. Meditation is one way in which many individuals and organizations are tackling this stress epidemic. The practice of meditation helps you declutter and balance your mind which, ultimately, can improve the immune system, cure depression, boost memory and regulate emotions. Not to mention, it’s a wonderful outlet from the digital-overloaded world we live in.
To reap the benefits of meditation it’s important to incorporate the practice on a daily basis. There are many techniques, some that involve repeating mantras and others that focus just on breathing. Organizations can begin to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into the workplace by educating employees on the benefits and techniques, as well as encouraging employees to build 10-15 minutes of meditation in during each and every workday.
Are you ready to give it a shot? Here are some tips for beginners:
- Remember your posture – Keep airways open by siting up straight. This will also help fight the urge to doze off. In time, being fully present will make you realize you’re slouching instead of sitting up straight.
- Get outside – As the weather warms up, bring your meditation outdoors and develop a walking meditation. Stay in the moment by paying attention to the air and sounds around you.
- Find a friend – Partner with someone at work who’s also interested in meditation and keep each other accountable. Make one minute daily meditations a common goal.
Contact a Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) advisor to find out more.