Managing stress during your work day is not as hard as you might think. With a few simple practices you can remove yourself from the “treadmill” of fight or flight and bring yourself into a place of “rest and digest”.
Begin by setting an intention to schedule these practices into each and every day, there is a lot of power in ritual (how often do you miss brushing your teeth?). The best way to begin the workday is to practice your seated meditation for 10-20 minutes in the morning before you get to work. Schedule three two minute breaks into your day, by reminding yourself to pause at 9:00, 12:00 and 3:00, using a reminder chime on your cell phone works well but a written sticky note on your bulletin board or on your computer screen will do the job. Choose one or use the “peace finder” practice of your choice for two minutes at the scheduled time.
Practice mindful breath, eyes opened or closed and begin to count in for four counts feeling the breath come into the nose and down into the belly, hold the breath for four counts and then exhale for four, feeling the breath come back up and exit through the nose., then hold for four counts after the exhale. Do this practices 3 or 4 times and return to your day.
Practice a body scan, bring your awareness to the crown of the head and gently guide your awareness downward into the throat, the chest, the belly the hips and low back all the way down to the toes, gently release stress simply by being aware of any tension or tight spots, then return to your day.
Practice an inward smile. Simply close your eyes and begin to smile inwardly, outwardly or both, let your awareness rest on the feeling the smile creates. Open the eyes and return back to your day.
These are simple practices which , when done on a regular , daily basis will begin to help you release stress, allow you to unplug, and bring your awareness into the present moment. Stress will naturally be released and after some time you will start to experience your day in a more peaceful way.