Intermittent Breaks Using Meditation
If your job is like the vast majority of jobs you get two fifteen minute breaks and a thirty minute lunch every day, precious little time for relaxation in the midst of work pressures and responsibilities. But you can take intermittent breaks using meditation, and the great part is that it’s an internal process that you can do while sitting at your computer, so no one will be the wiser. These breaks don’t have to be long at all. They can last as little as a few seconds.
You can think of your mindful breathing in these moments as the antidote to stress, anxiety, or whatever else is bubbling up inside of you. The ideal is to get to a point where your intermittent breaks using meditation are almost unconscious, basically like muscle memory. You feel that irritation rising and instantly switch into breathing mode, embracing what you are feeling but using the energy of mindfulness to quickly transform it, bringing back a feeling of relaxation and ease.
You might argue that this strategy will lower your productivity, but the reverse will probably occur. Many people spend a large amount of their days not working anyway, basically zoning out, and a likely reason why is burnout. These little mindfulness breaks, although they might seem from the outside as if you are zoning out, are the polar opposite of zoning out because you are actively engaged and focused in the moment in order to restore your sense of calm. Once you have it you can go right back to working at full tilt. Those unattended feelings tend to snowball and wreak havoc not only on your well-being but also on your productivity, because you can’t give your full and undivided attention to the task in front of you when you’ve got negative energy taking up a significant amount of your cognitive space. You feel distracted and frazzled, torn apart at the seams.
Give yourself permission to slow down and take care of yourself many times during the day by breathing mindfully. Your work is not going anywhere, and you need to worry about your longevity and happiness too, not just the number of widgets you can push in a day or a week.