New Year’s Meditation Challenge


Stressed out at work? 

According to the SHRM Online article, Work Related Stress on Employees' Health, 40 percent of workers report their jobs as very or extremely stressful. 

While that statistic isn’t so shocking, the article also reports that employers spend over $300 billion annually for healthcare and missed workdays as a result of workplace stress.

Meditation might be the answer.

I consulted with organizational psychologist Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, Ph.D. and Pandit Dasa, The Urban Monk about ways that HR practitioners can help employees be more mindful and less stressed in 2017.

Below is their simple 21-day challenge (every weekday/work day of January starting on the 3rd) for those new to the practice of meditation to get the year started off right.

  • Commit to a time of day each weekday (five days a week – your work week) that you can regularly mediate
  • Start with just five minutes each day (10 minutes if you are ambitious)
  • Use the timer app on your phone to set the alarm to alert you when your five minutes is up (this way you don’t have to worry about checking time)
  • Start by getting in a relaxed position. One where you won't fall asleep!
  • Take five deep breaths to set your mood. Focus on feeling the cool air come in through the nose and the warm air come out while you exhale. Now you are ready.
  • Close your eyes and follow these steps for simple focused breathing! Repeat this at least five times or for the duration of your timer: 

        o Take in a deep breath in while silently counting to five

        o Hold that breath for a count of five

        o Exhale that breath for a count of five

        o After exhaling, hold your breath for a count of five

Note: If at any time the mind wanders, which it inevitably will, gently bring your awareness back to the breath going in and out of your nose

  • To conclude, bring your awareness back into your mind and take inventory of the thoughts going through your mind. Just notice them. Don’t get absorbed in any of them. Take three deep breaths to empty out any stressful thoughts.
  • Gently bring your awareness to your eyes and slowly open them

Check out their Facebook page if you want to take the challenge.

Happy New Year and best wishes for a less stressful 2017. 





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