The Power of Meditation and Awareness

Meditation has long been used by monks, spiritual leaders, and certain religions to help relax and bring clarity. In this modern age more and more people are turning to meditation as a way to quiet the mind and help aid in relaxation. Especially in the business world of cell phones, social media, technology, and constant connection to everyone mediation can help you get centered, disconnect, and can ultimately make you a better leader.

More high level business execs when asked what their secret to success is are naming meditation as one of their tools. We all know by now the 100+ studies done on stress and how it negitivly effects you. Meditation is proven to lower stress amust the other health and wellness benefits.

Here are some quick meditation exercises that take 5 minutes and can be done at your desk;

1. Observe the breath

This is the simplest form of meditation. Stop what you’re doing as if to signal to the body that a change is about to occur. Rest your feet flat on the floor. With eyes open or closed slow your breathing. If you are at work it is probably somewhat labored. For a few minutes just pay attention to your breathing. Watch it. Notice your chest, abdomen, shoulders rise and fall.

2. Smiling meditation

Okay. It sounds cheesy. And this may not be for you. But at work we are focused, tense and sometimes even scowling. For just one full minute stop what you are doing. Set your feet flat on the floor. Then… smile. It’s kind of funny. Don’t force it. When it feels unnatural, pause. Try it again. If anything else you’ll get a good laugh.

3. One word mantra

Position your feet again. Pick a word. It’s probably a good idea for it to be positive. At work, I like the word joy. Calm your breathing. At least for one minute say the word in your mind. Pause for a second. Repeat. The mind will wander. So what. Just come back to your word.

4. Walking meditation

This one’s pretty cool. If you can get out of the office on break, go! Steady your breath. Begin to walk. The trick in this one is to pay attention to your feet as they meet the ground. If you have to step up, notice the knees and how they work. Move your thoughts to your hips.

Then go back to your feet. You’ll see how you never noticed walking and contact before in this way.

5. Musical meditation

Pick a cool tune. Even songs with lyrics. Plug in. Check out. And only observe the harmony, beats and lyrics. You have just meditated.

6. Observe all the noise

Sit still and take at least two minutes to listen to the office. In your hearing catch the fax, the kerplunk of the soda machine, cars on the road, Janet smacking her gum, and the airplane overhead. You just came back to the moment. You meditated at work.

7. Holding the deep breath

If the office is super insane today you might be tempted to take in a big gulp and not let it back out. By deeply breathing in, holding it, then slowly letting it out, the office antics may not have changed – but you have changed. You might need several, concentrated cycles but you’ll get cleaned up inside.

8. “I am” mantra

I am… fill in the blank. Pick two or three. I started with, “I am making a lot of money.” But I matured recently to, “I am successful in my work today.” Steady that breath and repeat them in your mind’s hearing for a few minutes.

At first, I was looking for ways to better manage my business. What meditation taught me was ways to better manage myself. Meditation creates space ― space in one’s mind to think. A few minutes in the morning and again in the evening is all that is necessary to help centre yourself and to help you focus. It helped me to put stress and demands in a container, dealing with them slowly and focusing on the important decisions, both at work and at home.(