How To Meditate At Work Without Freaking Out Your Colleagues

How To Meditate At Work Without Freaking Out Your Colleagues

The last thing you want to do is freaking out your colleagues as they find you sitting like a Zen Monk in a business suit and going “Omm..” . Or closing your eyes in meditation bliss as your boss is blowing his top over a missed dateline.

Despite how meditation could enhance your productivity and give you a creative edge in what you’re doing, there is a better way to meditate at work without disrupting your work or your colleagues’. Plus, you don’t want to give your boss any idea that you are breaking down due to stress overload.

If you’ve been trying out mindfulness meditation at home, you’ll notice that the techniques of mindfulness meditation (i.e. observing your breath and awareness of your wandering mind) could be adapted to your work without turning your working desk into a meditation chamber.

Here’s How To Meditate At Work Mindfully

1. Drive Mindfully To Work

How To Meditate At Work Without Freaking Out Your Colleagues

If you’re driving to work and traffic jam is a nightmare, don’t spend your time on the road mentally cursing at other drivers or blaring your horns away.

Even spending your time freaking out at the thought that you’re going to miss the 9 A.M meeting is not going to change a thing, except bringing your stress level up before you even reach your office.

Be mindful of your thoughts when you are driving. Don’t respond to angry thoughts that arise. Just know that you’re having angry thoughts and let it fade away naturally. At the same time, pay attention to traffic.

Mindfulness could prevent daydreaming when you’re driving and decrease chances of wrecking your car.

Trust me, wrecking your car is no fun.

2. At The Lift

You probably have a habit of checking out your phones or losing yourself into wild imaginations when you’re waiting for the lift. Most people do so when they spend an average of one to two minutes waiting for the lift that never seems to arrive.

Without realizing, this will increase your pre-work tension. Use that opportunity to do a body-scan awareness. Just stand still and be aware of the sensations that you feel on the various part of your body.

(Body parts with obvious sensation: temple, shoulder, abdomen, hip, lower back, knee, and feet) These are the parts you will feel tense when you are stressed.

To avoid looking like a stoned zombie, you can put your best look that says “I’m busy brainstorming for my next project

3. Mindful Walking

Taking a few steps to the photocopying machine? Or did your boss called you to his office because he needs to “talk to you”? Instead of having wild worrying thoughts assailing the peace of your mind, try walking mindfully by turning your awareness to your footsteps.

That will keep you calm and focus no matter what happens later. Remember that every single negative thought that stresses you out is sapping your mental energy.

And you’ll also find yourself jamming up the photocopy machine less frequent and avoid the wrath of the secretary who’s bossing over it.

You should also do mindful walking when you leave your office. It’s a good way to keep work stress at work.

4. Take 2 Minutes Of Mindful Breath

How To Meditate At Work Without Freaking Out Your Colleagues

If you’re staring at your computer screen all day long, you risk straining your eyes in the long run. It’s advisable to take short breaks every 90 minutes. (read more on reducing eye strains here.

No, you’re not going to start Twittering on your smartphone at your screen break.

Try doing some eye exercise and then close your eyes. Bring awareness to your breathing like what you’re doing when you meditate at home. Just meditating this way for a couple of minutes will bring some freshness into your mind.

Of course, you can keep it longer wish. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep in your comfortable working chair.

5. Visiting The Water Cooler

That’s where all the gossips started.

Or it could be your mindfulness sanctuary.

It’s a good place for you to meditate while you drink away. You can bring your awareness to the whole drinking process.

As you lift your glass, be aware of the movement and the sensation. Gently drink the water, taking in one sip at a time. Be mindful for the sensation as the water washed down your throat.

If you’re famous for your barista skill in your workplace, you can improvise and bring mindfulness as you whip up a delighting latte. Trust me, that little bit of mindfulness will bring your latte to the next level.

6. Lunch Break

If you’re one who is absorbed in your work and suddenly you found yourself starving like you’ve haven’t eaten in 3 days, lunch break is going to be one word, “rush”.

You gobble up the food while your mind is thinking about how to fix the crashing program or what’s your best opening line in your next meeting.

Or you could be scrolling away from your Facebook and munching your sandwiches on the other hand.

You can choose to break the lunch madness and eat mindfully for once. And you may lose a few pounds in the process.

7. Handling Work Distraction With Mindfulness

Stop checking an email every single time the notification pops up. If it’s urgent, you’ll probably get a call. Same goes to your other social media feeds. Well, unless your job is all about doing that. (Mine is not.).

It is easy to get carried away by distraction while you’re working. The next time you have a thought that whispers “how about taking a 5 minutes break to check out that viral video”, don’t give in to the temptation.

Be aware that you are having a distractive thought. Notice how your mind is trying to convince yourself to react to the thought. When you are mindful, you are less likely to give into that distraction.

And you’ll find that distractive thoughts lost its power when you refuse to hold on to them.

8. Toilet Meditation?

How To Meditate At Work Without Freaking Out Your Colleagues

Well, no one says you can’t spend another 5 minutes in the toilet if you’re really craving for solitude in the office. 

In fact, spending time in the toilet could sometimes give you the best inspiration you need. Anyway, you’re going to spend at least 3-4 trips to your beautiful office toilets each day right?

Spend some time to recollect your thought and clear all the mess that’s going in your head. Mindfully of course.

if you’re still thinking that I’m kidding on this toilet meditation thing, I’m not. Check out another article on PhysioYoga on toilet meditation.

Still Finding It Tough To Meditate At Work?

Stop thinking about the props that you are used to at home. Meditation incense, your beautiful zafu cushion or your favorite guided meditation CD that you are accustomed to.

Mindfulness meditation is not sitting and taming your monkey mind for 30 minutes a day and turning your mind into a wild circus for the rest of your waking hours.

Bring mindfulness meditation practice to your work and you’ll find that you bring back lesser work stress home. And you’ll get a better sleep to end your day.

If you still finding meditation at work a tall order, here are some meditation apps that you may find interesting.

What’s Your Thought?

Do you find this article helpful for you to meditate in the office, without disrupting your productivity and work-flow?  Or do you have more ideas of bringing meditation to work? Share your thoughts here and if you find this article helpful, share it with your friends.

Related :
What Is Mindfulness Without Old School Meditation (NEW)
What Do You Think When You Meditate And Why It Matters
Mindfulness Could Have Prevented Me From Wrecking My Car
Why Mindfulness Practice Is Simple But Not Easy In Daily Life

24 thoughts on “How To Meditate At Work Without Freaking Out Your Colleagues”

  1. I’ve always been one to perform mindful driving and not let traffic or being cut off by other drivers increase my stress levels, but I really like the suggestion to do so while waiting for someone and taking that time to yourself. Unfortunately, I’m guilty of taking the practice “use your time wisely” too far and any moment I have I’m attempting to get something done. I will be using this advice from now on!

    Reply
    • Hi Liz,

      We are all imperfect and there are time where we try to squeeze in our time doing something. If it’s productive and essential then it’s fine. But we don’t want to spend time in wasteful thoughts. Right?

      Thanks for reading.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  2. Very informative guide and hopefully will help us all to be less stressed out at work. lol, I like the toilet meditation part. When I worked I used to go to the bathroom just to take a break so I can attest to this one being effective. Its just inconvenient when someone is doing a stinky in the stall next to you…that might increase your stress levels some, lol! tfs 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Marlinda,

      Yeah, I guess we need to check out our surrounding prior to turning the toilet into our meditation hall. Lol.

      Thanks for reading.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  3. What an amusing title! Quite attention-grabbing, well it certainly got my attention! Mindfulness truly can help a person through a hectic day and crazy schedule! Driving mindfully can by far be the best way to cool-down in terms of stress. I know it really helps me out! A really enjoyable read and I am glad to have 8 extra meditation tips to help improve my day!

    Reply
  4. Hi Kenny
    I throughly enjoyed reading your article. The one tip that I really like Is the practice of mindfulness during the lunch break.

    I am guilty of gobbling up my food whilst checking out my FB feeds.I guess it will take some time to get used to, but I have got to start controlling things and be in the moment and focus on my lunch.As you said, it can also help to loose weight.

    That part also got me interested.I will check that out as well your website.

    Awesome article.
    Looking forwarding to your next interesting piece.
    Regards
    Roopesh

    Reply
    • Hi Roopesh,

      It’s tough to be mindful when eating. I’m one who live in a country where eating is our favourite past time.

      Mindful eating aside, we really need to take care of our health.

      Thanks for reading.

      Cheers,

      Kenny

      Reply
  5. Toilet meditation. Lol. I’ve done that!

    These are some terrific reminders, Kenny. And after a while, you’ll realize that stopping and getting reset, even if it does “freak out” your co-workers, is worth doing. At first, they’d ask me, “What are you doing?” I would tell them, and then suggest that, rather than laughing at me, they might like to try it. After a short time, they stopped asking. You have to take responsibility to take care of yourself.

    The mindful drive is a great tip. I usually have something going: music, a podcast or something I’m trying to listen to. Now, I find that I’ll make it completely silent in the car, or deliberately open the window just to take in the sounds around me. Or I’ll sometimes put on a kind of “drone” sound or classical music to get more present.

    I really appreciate what you’re doing with your site and look forward to following along.

    Be well,

    Kevin

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      I can’t believe that you actually meditate the formal way in your office. Lol.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong listening to the music or news in the car. But it’s only when we get carried away by what we heard that we become lost in our thoughts. But hey, sometimes I do shut off my radio completely to get some peace of mind.

      Thanks for reading and subscribing.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  6. These are some great tips, I actually just tried this while sipping my water! I am very guilty of not driving mindfully. I should really try to be more aware as like you said it wouldn’t take much for a day dream to pop up and lose concentration resulting in an accident. I always enjoy meditation I just need to make it more of a habit. Thanks for these great tips!

    Reply
    • Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for checking out my tips. And kudos to you for actually trying it out. You know we took for granted what of what we have that we seem to forget how water actually tastes like.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  7. Kenny some great thoughts in here per the usual. The funny thing for me is that I reached for my cup of water and realized it was the last sip before I would have to go refill it at the water cooler. As I was doing that I scrolled down to the #5 and read that as I was finishing my drink. So I was able to immediately follow your advice and paid attention to the act of drinking my water.

    I also like your tips about being mindful during your commute to and from work. I have been working on that myself lately as a way of leaving the various stresses from both work and home at their respective places so that I can properly focus on the one that I am at.

    Reply
    • James,

      You definitely got your sense of humour there on the drinking water part.

      The leaving stress at work is even tougher from me. As I’m working from home. So what I do is, I’ll take a walk out and pretend I’m coming back from work. And do the mindful walking.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  8. Thanks Kenny for teaching on meditation. Yes its true mediation helps to make your mind creative and I agree one can take advantage of different moments to meditate, even in traffic. I like the way you stress on being mindful when meditating whilst driving as a slip of awareness could wreck your car.

    Thanks for giving helpful information on this subject.

    Reply
  9. These are all great ways to do mindfulness meditation when going to work and while at work. I like the ideas of taking the time, kind of a time out, during the work day to simply do nothing with your mind, concentrate on the pleasures of what you are doing, weed out the anger and bad. Great ideas!

    Reply
    • Hey Mat’s Mom,

      It’s great to see you again. There is a Chinese saying that goes something like “To rest is to walk further”. You’ll be amazed what a couple minutes of calm in your mind could do to your focus in your work.

      Thanks for reading.

      Cheers,
      Kenny.

      Reply
  10. I love this article! Great tips for being mindful going to, during, and heading home from work to not let the stressors of the day break your spirit. I am a meditating newbie, and articles like this really help me connect those few minutes of solitude with the other moving aspects of my life. Any tips for meditating while my 3 small children are fighting/bickering/melting down for the 30th time that day would be appreciated!

    Reply
    • Hi Martina,

      Thanks for checking out and liking my article.

      Maybe a mindful parenting article for my next blog post? I’ll keep you updated when that happened.

      I have one naughty 4 year old myself.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  11. Love This! Bookmarked your page and joined your email list. Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas on being mindful without being goofy! Gonna put them into practice.
    Thanks Again!
    Cary

    Reply
    • Hi Cary,

      Thanks for saving my page as your favourite. I’m just trying to bring the idea that meditation does not need to be confined to a 30 minutes session. Instead, it can be implemented into our daily life without causing any unncessary inconvenience.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Reply
  12. Toilet meditation…Love it! Haha. But really, it does help. But for me, I find that when driving to work, placing yourself in the right mindset on the ride there REALLY makes a difference. I use this time to decompress, get my mind just “right” for the day. I usually don’t speak to anyone on the phone, just listen to relaxing music and concentrate on driving and keeping myself chill. It really does wonders for me! Thanks for all the tips, good read.

    Reply

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