Guest Post By Danielle Mika Nagel
1. Silence before email.
Morning meditations give you a chance at clarity before your mind becomes busy with the thoughts and activities of the day. If your routine wakeup involves checking your inbox in bed, swap your mobile phone for a few minutes of morning silence. Have a comfortable cushion set up in a peaceful area of your home. Make it a habit to come to this spot before you do anything. Sit tall and allow yourself to focus on your breath. Deeply inhale, then deeply exhale. When a thought enters your mind, notice it, then return to your breath. Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes.
2. Skip the coffee, take a breath break.
Finding a place in your office to sit comfortably and meditate may not be practical, so head outdoors. Instead of spending 15-20 minutes in a busy café line up, go for a short walk. Make an effort to be mindful of your surroundings. Take deep breaths and as you exhale visualize yourself letting go of any tension or stress from your day. Return to the office with more clarity and focus.
3. Set an intention.
Just as most successful meetings have a clearly defined purpose, many executives find success in meditation by setting an intention or mantra. Your intention or mantra can be drawn upon at anytime of the day when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. When your mind starts to feel too cluttered and your breath gets short, take a few minutes to breath and gently bring yourself back to the day’s intention. Be easy on yourself and try not to judge your meditation.
4. Slow down.
Deadlines and heavy workloads often cause us to rush through daily activities. When you’ve finished your workday, pick one activity and make a concentrated effort to do it slowly. This could mean driving home with patience and awareness. Even letting a few people in “your” lane as you turn on some relaxing music. Or maybe it’s chewing your food several times and really noticing the texture and taste as you eat dinner. Slowing things down and focusing on the present moment will de-clutter your mind and refresh your energy.
Whether you’re tied to your desk, stuck in traffic or caught in meetings, the average Canadian worker spends three quarters of the day sitting. The simple act of moving your body purposefully can be meditative. Go for a short run, do some simple yoga stretches or put on a song that motivates you to dance. The act of moving with intention will force you to get out of your head and into your body.