We all face stressful situations throughout our lives, ranging from minor annoyances like traffic jams to more serious worries, such as an illness or the death of a loved one. No matter the cause, we still experience stress. Stress, which triggers the body into releasing cortisol, is often called the stress hormone. Cortisol is the hormone that causes your heart to pound, your breathing speeds up, and your muscles tense. This is all in preparation for the Flight or Fight response that is needed in a survival situation, like running from a wild animal.
Fortunately, that is no longer something we have to concern ourselves with. Instead, we have our thoughts to contend with. Did you know that the average person has between 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day – with the majority of them being negative? Add to our fast-paced culture, and we are living in a constant state of stress.
Can you imagine the toll we are putting on our bodies? Stress with its constant release of cortisol, leaves us feeling fatigued and irritable. Stress can also cause us to experience symptoms like headaches, intestinal problems, anxiety, depression, and poor sleep.
Yet, taking just five minutes a day to be still, and breathe can help to release stress, lower the heart rate and calm the nervous system. In other words, a light 5-minute mindful meditation can calm and destress the mind and body.
So, here are 3 quick meditation tips for de-stress at work:
1. Breath: Yes, it’s that simple. Start by sitting comfortably and closing your eyes to avoid distractions. Place all your attention on your breath. Breathe in slowly, hold for 4-6 seconds, or whatever feels comfortable for you. Then slowly release your breath. Wait for another few seconds before inhaling. The pause helps to further slow and relax the mind and body. Repeat 3-5 times, and you are done.
2. Body scan: In this technique, begin by closing your eyes and placing your focus on any area of the body that feels tense. With each exhale image breathing out the tension. Pause, then inhale, breathing in a soothing healing breath. Feel into the area until the tension begins to release.
3. Visualization: for this technique, recall a place that you consider calming and restful. Whether the image is real or imaginary, it doesn’t matter. Image yourself at this lovely peaceful location. If available, you may want to play a soundtrack that can further enhance this calming experience. A short 5 minutes meditation may be enough to bring balance at the moment.
Here are 3 quick meditation tips for de-stressing at work. I hope you found this helpful!
Big Hug, until next time!