What if you’re a surgeon and you sway from your tolerance during open-heart surgery? You could nick an artery. What if you’re a landscape architect and your contractor creates an unintended slope toward the house? Your client will be very unhappy when water pools near their house after each rain. Tolerance, or the “allowed” deviation, is not only vital in the function and success in concrete objects but also in intangibles like our mental health.
You’re sitting at your desk at work or school and cannot move forward on your project. Or maybe this is an ongoing thing with you lately.
When you’re super focused and determined to “get this done” or “stick with it,” what you really need is distance. Do something different from your norm. You may need physical and mental distance. If so, go to a new art exhibit at a local gallery. Go to a wine tasting or an interactive cooking class. Watch an airshow.
Or maybe you just need fresh eyes in your own craft. Even going to a trade show in your field can fuel your creative juices.
Often, though, all we need is mental distance. This is when mindfulness and meditation can be effective.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) claims: “A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but an abundance of health-promoting ones.”¹ The American Institute of Stress adds, “Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.”² “According to the WHO, the cost of stress to American businesses is as high as $300 billion, and unless we change course, this will only get worse,” says Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post.³
CHAPEL HILL, NC – October 14, 2014 — Easterling Consulting is a new business whose principal, Melinda Easterling, has a specific focus: seeing the workplace change through creating “third spaces” in large companies. And she’s done her homework.
Corporate Wellness programs often include questionnaires with very personal questions that seemingly have nothing to do with your work life. Employers want to reduce health care costs and, with good intentions to improve employee health, they engage corporate wellness firms to put wellness programs in place. Do these wellness programs improve well-being?
If you could have a space in your office building where you could go to relax for a few minutes each day, sit silently or listen to calming music, would you use it?
What kind of audio would you like…nature sounds, chimes, soft music (classical, jazz or chill out)?
- Would you like to have a guided meditation option on audio?
- Would you bring your own MP3 player and earbuds to the room?
- Would you like the audio to be piped in to the room or have access to individual headphones?
prayer: an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought
meditation: the act or process of spending time in quiet thought
Merriam-Webster may have strict definitions for prayer and meditation, but for the sake of this blog, we will more loosely use meditation as quieting the mind.
If meditating is so good for us, why are many of us not doing it? Time, access, perception and education. We don’t believe that we have 15 minutes in our day to sit down, close our eyes and breathe. Most of us don’t have a Meditation Room in our office buildings. Many are worried what others will think if we meditate. Education is two-fold. I believe that the majority of us either don’t know anything about meditation or don’t believe in its benefits. I’ll briefly address each of these.
You do not have to meditate in a Meditation Room. The idea is to simply quiet the mind from the non-stop raucous that we are inundated with. While we commonly consider air, water and noise pollution to be the most obvious and insidious types of pollution, how we pollute our minds may be more pervasive and possibly more severe.
What are you thinking about in any given moment? The balance sheet, the deadline, the afternoon meeting, the kids’ soccer game, the leaky faucet, the massive hole in the yard from the dog. It is non-stop in the brain. We go and go and go. Sometimes, we just need quiet. How do we get it?