How practicing mindfulness can improve productivity in the workplace.
By Candace Blair
Imagine arriving at work clear-headed, focused and full of energy, overflowing with creative ideas and inspiration. It is a beautiful concept, especially at a time when we are faced with so many additional, external challenges, repetitive activities and exceedingly long work days, giving ourselves only limited time for self-care and personal wellness. However, if you’re like most people, it’s likely that you prioritize your own well-being far below the demands of work and home life, which can result in heightened stress levels, lack of clarity, sluggish energy and, far too often, lower than hoped for productivity.
There is a direct link between mental well-being and productivity in the workplace. Mindfulness meditation is increasingly seen as a way to improve a number of factors associated with productivity. The best, and easiest, part? Setting aside time, even if only two or three minutes a day, can completely change your perspective and attitude and boost productivity both in the workplace and in your everyday life.
The most common comment I hear when I discuss the power of meditation is, “I have tried, but I can’t meditate” or “I can’t shut off my mind, there is too much to think about,” or simply, “meditation doesn’t work for me.” Believe me, I understand. And trust me, it’s time to change your mindset – and discover the benefits of mindfulness. In my case, bringing a short daily practice into my life not only energized my spirit, but made me 100 percent better at my job, more present in my relationships and more conscious of my personal health. It can do the same for you.
Keep in mind that meditation doesn’t have to be silent, sitting down for extended periods of time to be beneficial – and you don’t have to escape to the top of a mountain to shift the brain waves from Beta (thinking mind) to Theta (dreamlike, meditative) state necessary for calming, clearing and integration. There are a multitude of ways one can meditate using words (mantra), finger movements (mudra), breathwork (pranayama), movement and music (sound healing).
Here are my top 7 Quick Meditation Options to use mindfulness to enhance both your productivity and your overall quality of life.
- Connect with nature/grounding: Take a silent mindful walk on the beach or through a park, taking note of each foot connecting with the earth and matching your breath with your movement.
- Intention setting: On waking up, sit for two or three minutes and simply close your eyes and set an intention for the day. Then breathe long and deep, in and out through your nose. Your intention can be anything: Clarity, Patience, Love, Joy, Strength, Power, Victory, Success, Commitment, whatever inspires you on the day.
- Quick de-stress: Sit in a chair, feet on the floor and spine straight, close your eyes and simply breath in, in two segments through your nose (one breath, two distinct parts), exhale out the nose in four segments (one breath, four distinct parts.)
- Heart opener: Sit comfortably, eyes closed with a straight spine, and simply inhale deeply through your nose. As you exhale, chant La-La-La-La until all the air is gone. Repeat 5-10 times. Hold your hands over your chest to feel your own healing vibration.
- Connect above & below: Sit comfortably, floor or chair, straight spine and close your eyes. Visualize sending a root down from the base of the spine and connecting it to Mother Earth. Then visualize a tree sprouting branches from the crown of the head, reaching up to the heavens. Visualize pulling energy up from the earth and down from source and then let those energies meet and mix at the heart.
- Quick energy boost or quick calm down:
Right nostril breathing: Sit comfortably, close your eyes and close off your left nostril. Breathe in and out deeply from right nostril for two or three minutes. This will bring in powerful “sun energy.” It’s best in the morning or when you need a quick energy boost.
Left nostril breathing: Sit comfortably, close your eyes and close off the right nostril. Breathe in and out deeply from the left nostril for two or three minutes. This will quickly calm the nervous system. Best right before bed or after a fiery encounter.
- Sound healing: Come to a local Sound Healing session where all you have to do is lie back and receive the healing vibrations of ancient bowls, bells and gongs. It is incredibly relaxing and can take you from beta to theta in 30-60 seconds, improving circulation and helping you to release blocked or stale energy.
Candace Blair is the founder of Soul Fire Social, a platform for sharing experiences about the ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, Vibrational Sound Healing, Shamanic Reiki and Ceremonial Cacao with the community. For more information about how to use mindfulness meditation to enhance workplace productivity, visit soulfiresocial.com.