February 25, 2016 9:30 am

3 easy ways to calm your mind at work and home

An innovative social enterprise in Toronto offering mindfulness-based therapies and personal development programs for the general public and professional training for health-care providers. I focus on their new “train-the-trainer program” using meditation as a form of stress release to deal with the intense issues social workers go through on a daily basis.

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Setting aside even a few minutes a day for meditation and mindfulness can sometimes feel like just one more thing to do. We asked meditation teachers from various disciplines to share some quick and easy ways to help stay grounded at work, at home or on the go.

Mindfulness at work from Sharon Salzberg, meditation teacher and author of Real Happiness

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It’s totally private, you don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor and start changing. No one will know you’re doing it, but breathing is a powerful, simple way to come back to yourself and centre yourself

Don’t pick up the phone on the first ring. Let it ring three times, stop and breathe and then pick it up. Start to train yourself to use the sound of the phone ringing as a signal and use that time to take a breath and come back. It’s a way to cut through crazy momentum of the work day.

The same can be done with email. Don’t press send right away, just take a few breaths and then read it again.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about mindfulness, the latest wellness trend

The ‘M-word technique’ from Emily Fletcher, former Broadway actress and founder of Ziva Meditation

Sit with your back supported and your head free. Check the time then close your eyes. Gently hear the word “one” in the background of your mind. You will have other thoughts and that’s OK, simply come back to the word “one” when you notice you are fantasizing about what kind of snack you would like. Don’t worry about the tempo, be easy and effortless.

Check the time as often as you like while you train yourself to feel what five minutes feels like. After five minutes has passed, keep the eyes closed and let go of the word inside.

Finish with a few minutes of gratitude. List the three things you are most grateful for right now. Let that bring a smile to your face. This is simple but will give your body rest so you can perform at the top of your game

READ MORE: The science behind the effects of yoga on health

Enjoy your chocolate from Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and co-founder of the 10-minute meditation app Headspace

Break off a square of really good chocolate. Before you pick it up take a couple of deep breaths, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, to allow the body and mind to settle. Take a moment to appreciate the chocolate. Where has it come from? Try and imagine the different ingredients in their natural growing environment, the people who might have grown it.

Before you begin to eat it, pause to notice if there’s a feeling of impatience. Is there pleasure and excitement? Or guilt or unease? Take a minute to explore it with your eyes, nose and hands. Look at it closely, smell it carefully and then touch it to see how it feels.

Take a small bite, but try to resist chewing it. Notice how it feels in the mouth, the temperature and the texture. Become aware of the taste. Try to allow the chocolate to melt in the mouth by gently moving it around with your tongue, rather than chewing it.

Sit back in your chair and enjoy the moment.

WATCH: A local study has found new evidence that things like meditation, yoga, or even just  talking to a friend  can help keep your cells from aging too fast. Heather Yourex reports.

© 2016 The Associated Press

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