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Doing Meditation in the Office

04 June 2021

Have you practiced yoga or what they call meditation? I began to be interested in this area because there were claims that meditation is a potent way to reduce stress. In my readings, some authors claimed that meditation has no concrete definition and it is related to yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation although in a higher form of it. When meditating the eyes are closed and in a sitting position

I think this is an interesting field which is becoming popular although it was reported that this was already introduced thousands of years ago. It is also reported that” the practice of meditation helps to develop habitual, unconscious micro-behaviors that can potentially produce widespread positive effects on physical and psychological functioning. Meditation even for 15 minutes twice a day has been shown to bring beneficial results.” (R. Manocha).

The same article discussed that "authentic medication" helps an individual to focus on the 'present moment' rather than dwell on the past or undetermined future. This particular description of meditation differentiates it from relaxation, rest, or sleep. This same article was written by R. Manocha and discussed the different types of meditation.

  • Transcendental Meditation - or TM the most common form of mantra medication. The goal is to prevent distracting thoughts by using a mantra. Those studying this are given instruction to be passive. A TM learner is asked to practice for 20 minutes in the morning and in the evening. TM has been related to clinical results such as lowering of blood pressure, physiological changes such lowering blood cortisol levels.
  • Mindfulness and Vipassana Meditation - is a which serve as the basis for techniques such as Vipassana meditation. The aim here is to use focused attention ( most often with the use of physical sensations such as the breath) to manage mental calmness.  

Practicing this regularly enables an individual to open-mindedly observe one's thoughts that lead to enhancing one's self-understanding. This approach has been claimed to be efficacious in clinical applications such as chronic pain.

Vipassana refers to both a specialized form of mindfulness meditation and also a specific brand name

  • Sahaja Yoga Meditation” aims to promote the experience of ‘thoughtless awareness based on the original meditative tradition.”

Some important points to ponder about meditation as given by Dr. R. Manocha, are

  • Meditation can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to
  • improve quality of life and decrease healthcare costs stress reduction and have the potential to improve quality of life and decrease healthcare cost
  •  Meditation includes achieving a state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ wherein the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is counterbalanced without reducing alertness and effectiveness
  • Authentic meditation enables an individual to focus on the present moment rather than dwell on the past and the unknown future
  • There is little quality evidence in comparison with one meditation technique with another or meditation with relaxation techniques

Based on these discussions by experts on meditation, different techniques have the same goals: to be aware of the present moment and focus on it rather than think of other experiences that could produce stress on an individual. We can also surmise that this technique is good to practice as a way to have emotional and mental health.

Meditation can be done at home as well as in the office during long breaks such as lunch breaks. To prepare yourself for meditation, please be guided by the following:

  • Prepare your meditation area which should be uncluttered and have some candles
  • Recall your motivation for meditation and why you are doing it. Some motivations maybe have peace of mind, to improve your mental and emotional health
  • Set your goal for meditation.  
  • Leave distractions
  • Have a good posture while sitting and meditating
  • Phones should be shut off
  • Aside from being clean, the room must be well-ventilated
  • Clothes should be comfortable, simple, and loose-fitting. It can be our favorite cotton T-shirt. You don't need fancy gym clothes. 
  • During meditation, we usually want to have a clear and free mind. And we also want our blood flowing freely through our brains. As such, it is best to meditate on a light or empty stomach
  • Make yourself comfortable but not reclining or laying on the couch to meditate. Sit with your back straight 
  • Be aware of your breathing. Being mindful of your breathing means the following:
  1. Long breath in and out
  2. Short breath in and out
  3. Do the whole breathing process
  4. Do calmer breathing. Breathe normally
  • Interruptions may occur, but it is all right. When they show, have your mind back to your breath. Feel your body, your heart, and your lungs relaxed, and be mindful of your breathing.  

In the office, you can prepare in any room which is well-lighted and ventilated to do your meditation. I have seen my officemate doing yoga during our lunch break and right after the yoga, she ate her meal which consists of more green vegetables and less meat. She was middle-aged and she did yoga and meditation until she retired from the company. She was an active, good supervisor with a healthy and lean body. This reminds me of her, who was my former supervisor when I was still working.

For office meditation, you can bring your own meditation map or exercise mat to sit on.  FlexiSpot has this anti-fatigue mat that is also good for meditation. It is called Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat MT1 which serves as a cushion when you are working in a standing posture. It reduces fatigue while in a standing position. So, in this case, you can also use it for your meditation practice in the office.

It is easy to carry, being light, and easy to clean. You can also enjoy a cushioned layer of support that suspends your body weight to reduce stress and fatigue. This multifunctional mat is ergonomic in design. As it is anti-fatigue, it is also non-skid. The beveled edges ensure the mat will not curl up over time and the smooth surface is easy to clean with a damp cloth.