by Mike Martin
Wouldn’t it be nice to find serenity in the midst of all the chaos that is erupting around you at work? Wouldn’t you like to have a sense of calm within the storm, a peacefulness that allows you to move through difficult situations while others flail and flounder? Well you can, and it’s really not that difficult either. In fact it’s so easy that you’ll wonder why you didn’t do some of these things before.
There are many ways to find serenity at work. Here are 4 that are guaranteed to work.
Connect with Nature
Most of us now live in cities or semi-urban areas, concrete and asphalt jungles with a sprinkling of trees in boxes or planters. We live in a world of constant chaos and commotion. To reclaim our inner peace and serenity we have to find a way to reconnect with nature and the natural forces that hold the key to our individual and collective survival.
In the biggest and most powerful city of the world sits an oasis of hope and a signal to all others. Central Park in New York City makes the Big Apple not only livable but creates a perfect place to recapture serenity in the midst of the storm. Acre after acre of trees and grass and squirrels and people intermingling in the sun and rain and snow. If NYC can do it then so can all the rest of us.
In every town and city there are parks and trails and naturally preserved areas. Walk, or if you have to, drive to the one nearest you. Stroll through the plants and trees and just listen. Listen to the chattering chipmunks and the mad-cap birds. Smell the green that’s in the air. Close your eyes and see the beauty that is inside you. Open them to see it all around you. Then go back to work relaxed and refreshed.
Meditation is relaxation for the brain. In a world full of external stimulation it is sooooooooooo good to just let your thinking parts take a break. There are plenty of books, guides and teachers available to help you get started in meditation but the most common involve selecting a mantra, which can be anything that helps clear your mind from everyday thoughts and worries. Mantras are usually composed from alternative vowel and nasal sounds and may contain several words.
The most widely known mantra is “ooohmmm” or “aaaaummm”, but any other similar word or phrase will do when we extend vowel and nasal sounds. Find a quiet place and close your eyes. Relax all of your muscles and begin to breathe slowly, focusing all of your energy on the air that is flowing in and out of your body. Then you can begin to start your mantra, pushing out all thoughts until your mind feels free.
After about five minutes you will notice that the thoughts become fewer and fewer. Finally you feel that moment of release when your mind is completely clear. You feel calm and serene. Meditation has been called listening to the gap, those brief periods of time when our mind is not totally focused on the day-to-day, but becomes open to new thoughts and new ideas. 15 to 20 minutes a day of meditation can change and improve your life. Best of all it can lead you to serenity, even at work.
Walking to Serenity
One of the best forms of exercise known to humans is walking. That is why we crawled upright after being on our hands and knees for millions of years. Walking burns fat and build muscles to speed up your metabolism. Walking an hour a day is also associated with cutting your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and stroke. But walking is not only good for the body but good for the spirit as well.
Walking is cheap, efficient, and as a side benefit it clears your head. Get a comfortable pair of shoes and start with a brisk fifteen-minute walk at lunchtime. Try not to think about anything in particular and notice what you see or hear. In times of extreme stress or anxiety, nothing beats going for a walk. To prevent stress and anxiety from building up, why not be proactive and take a regular walk every day. It just might be your first steps towards a lifetime of serenity.
Take a Solitude Break
We have a very real, physical need of the company of others in our lives. It helps keep us sane and balanced. But just as important to our sanity and fundamental to our serenity is the time that we spend alone. Solitude is a way to slow the world down to a speed that you are comfortable with. It is a time for reflection so that you can learn and for thinking so that you can imagine first what you want to create.
Even in a busy office environment you can take a solitude break. Go to lunch with yourself once a week. Take one coffee break alone. When things get just too hectic, leave the office and go for a walk, or meditate, or listen to some music. Your serenity and your sanity may depend on it. You have to take this time, for yourself, in order to be able to give to back to your work and to the world around you.
These are but a few suggestions to finding serenity at work. Find one or more that work for you and go out there and get serene, at work!!
This article first appeared on my blog at http://www.workawesome.com
Mike Martin is a freelance writer and workplace wellness consultant. He is also an author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People.
He is also the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries. The next book in the series, The Body on the T, will be released by Baico Publishing on May 1, 2013