When your brain decides that it just can't handle one more project, what do you do other than soldier through it? What if we told you that you could clear your mind right at your desk?
If you work a high-stress job, you're probably no stranger to burnout. And if you have a position where you need to come up with original ideas or work on inventive projects, you know that creative burnout is its own terrible beast!
There’s only so much clever productivity that a brain can handle before it says, "Nope, I'm out!" At some point, you've got to throw your mind a bone and give it a chance to recharge.
We know. You’re already scratching your head, thinking, “How do I let my brain recharge at work when I’m supposed to be working on all these projects that are burning me out?”
Well, have you ever tried meditation at work?
It’s a great way to reboot the brain’s idea center before it runs out of steam, so you can get back to it and knock your deadlines out of the park!
Plus, meditating is discreet—so you can do it at your desk at a moment’s notice! All that’s needed is a mantra, visualization, or audio guide to focus on. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular tips for de-stressing at work!
What does the evidence say about meditation at work for creativity?
There’s an important study that supports the idea that meditation can enhance creative thought.
In that 2014 research, two groups of people meditated for 25 minutes before performing a thinking task. Their performance was then graded on two "main ingredients of creativity:” divergent thinking and convergent thinking.
The researchers wrote that “the findings support the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas.”
There’s one potential shortcoming of this study: the sample size is only 40. Small studies have less consistent and reliable results than larger ones, so don’t consider it the end-all-be-all on the subject.
Do you have to be “good” at meditating to benefit?
You don’t have to be an experienced meditator to get a mental boost from the practice. In fact, anyone can benefit from meditation at work, no matter what the experience level (even nonexistent!)
The study mentioned earlier compared two groups: a group of people experienced with meditation, and a group that had never meditated before. The researchers concluded, “the study is a clear indication that you don’t have to be an experienced meditator to profit more from meditation.”
Meditation at work methods for an instant creativity boost
All you need is 10 minutes to get a quick mindfulness sesh in! So, why not try meditating right now, while you’re thinking about it? If you’re not totally sure where to get started, here are a couple of tips for beginners:
1. Motivate with a mantra
A mantra is a word or statement that you focus on when you meditate. (Fun fact: any form of meditation that involves focusing on one object or idea—called “focused attention”—can stimulate creativity!)
The first step is to pick a meditation at work mantra. Most people prefer something short and simple (like three or four words). But pick something that speaks to you. (As long as it’s not a novel!)
Some sample mantras for creativity include:
- I am creative.
- Life is creative.
- My creative expressions matter.
- I share amazing ideas.
- I create with purpose.
A mantra doesn’t have to be something found on a list somewhere. If you don’t see one that screams “yes, this is my mantra!” then think about what you want to motivate yourself with and go in that direction.
Then, focus on your breath while you breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take each breath slowly, fill up fully with air, and then exhale completely.
Since you’re at work, say the mantra in your head with each inhalation, and imagine yourself letting go of any creative block with each exhale. (If you try this at home, say the mantra aloud instead of in your head!)
2. Visualize those creative juices flowing
Ever tried making a vision board, where you tack up a corkboard (or open a Pinterest board) and fill it with pictures of things that inspire you? Visualization meditation is where that concept originates.
This form of meditation at work is precisely what it sounds like. You’ll visualize your creative achievement while you meditate, focusing entirely on the image and the feelings of pride experienced after a great run on a project!
Again, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Let your exhale be a little noisy (unless you have a nosy cubicle-mate), and make sure that you’re inhaling and exhaling completely between each cycle of breath. With each inhale, see yourself achieving your creative goals. And with each exhale, imagine letting go of your roadblocks.
3. Let yourself be guided
It’s totally okay to be lost when getting started! If you just can’t picture anything or focus on a mantra long enough to call it meditating, then there are guided meditations built just for you!
Apps are the easiest way to access guided meditations at work. You can stream one from your smartphone via the app. Just make sure you have headphones to keep the guide in your ear (so you don’t disrupt Karen, who hates background noise, a few desks over).
Some great places to find guided meditations for creativity include:
- The Mindfulness App: Available on iPhone (5 stars) and Android (4.5 stars). Free with optional purchases.
- Headspace:Available on iPhone (5 stars) and Android (3.5 stars). Free with optional purchases and subscriptions.
- Calm: Available on iPhone (5 stars) and Android (4.5 stars). Free with optional purchases.
- Buddhify: Available on iPhone (5 stars) and Android (4 stars). $4.99 on the App Store, $2.99 on the Play Store.
Hone your meditation at work focus with Sunday Scaries
If you’re someone who meditates already, it can be hard (and kind of uncomfortable) to clear your mind and learn how to coexist with your thoughts without engaging them. But cannabidiol can make it easier for you to let go of what’s burning you out or making thoughts race—and may also help you fire up your idea machine!
Why not give Sunday Scaries CBD oil tincture a place in your desk drawer? Double-tested broad-spectrum CBD comes together with vitamins B12 and D3 and coconut oil for a quick hit of mental focus. And a little nom nom on CBD gummies plus some meditation at work mantras may do the trick.
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