There is no doubt that you can benefit from daily meditation. It has several health benefits like reducing cortisol levels that cause stress, lessening blood pressure, and slowing the heart rate. Besides these physiological effects, it can also have a positive impact on your work life, by increasing your attention span, deepening your focusing, catalyzing your creativity, and making you a better listener.
Given all these constructive outcomes, meditation should become an integral and required part of your day. But finding the time to actually engage in this practice can be difficult, so here are a few ways you can incorporate mindfulness exercises into your day.
When you wake up, you're already in a quiet room in which you feel relaxed. This might be the last time you're surrounded by silence, so take five minutes and practice breathing in and out. Notice the sound of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Imagine the air rushing into your mouth and filling your lungs, and then picture it leaving your body and filling the room.
Instead of hitting the snooze button, sit up right and fill your morning with peace. These few minutes of mindfulness will prepare you for your busy day to come. Pretty soon, you'll get so used to meditation in the morning, that you won't want to start your day without it.
If you take public transportation like a bus or the subway, you can use these moments for practicing meditation. To be sure, you might be disturbed by the noise of other people taking and public-address announcements.
But by simply closing your eyes and taking long breaths, you will inevitably retreat into a cocoon where you pay less attention to the sounds around you and train your mind on taking deep breaths. When you finally open your eyes, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, that you have gone somewhere on your commute that few others have – to a place of higher consciousness.
When your colleagues and clients go to lunch, you can take advantage of this quieter period of the day. If you have your own office, you can close the door and spend five minutes again practicing breathing in and out. If you work in an open-office where you have limited privacy, you could either steal away into a conference room or bathroom to find a few moments of peace.
Some forward-thinking firms like General Motors, Google and Intel encourage employees to practice meditation, and some even have rooms and facilities on their campuses dedicated for this purpose. If you work at one of these companies, make sure to take advantage of these benefits.
Before your turn down your bed and go to sleep, try spending a few minutes sitting upright on your bed and practicing your breathing. You will find that when you are engaged in deep breathing exercises, it will help still your thoughts and prepare you for a better night sleep. A night time practice of meditation might make you feel better rested in the morning too.
Chopra is the author of The Healing Self with Rudolph E. Tanzi, the founder of The Chopra Foundation, co-founder of Jiyo and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Sehgal is a New York Times bestselling author, former vice president at JPMorgan Chase, multi-Grammy Award winner, and U.S. Navy veteran. Chopra and Sehgal created Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome, inspired by American immigrants.
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