By: Noelle Johnson
One evening between working on a project and preparing dinner, I caught the reflection of someone in the mirror and screamed. I legitimately did not recognize myself and it took a few seconds to realize that a stranger hadn’t walked into my home.
I had circles under my eyes, I looked disheveled (which is your classic busy-working-mom end-of-day look), and I couldn’t remember the last time I had a good night of sleep. More than anything, I looked incredibly unhappy — and I am always happy (like, owning a bright yellow car and having the nickname “sunshine” kind of always happy). Once I recognized this unhappy stranger was me, I decided it was time to do something about it.
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I spent a lot of time researching what to do to try to get back to my happy self in a way that was affordable and holistic, and it became clear that mediation was the best option for me. I gave myself the challenge of meditating every single day for 100 days, and if that didn’t get me closer to my happy, then I would try something more drastic, like running away to Bali.
The beginning wasn’t easy. A thought would interrupt my peace every few seconds, and before I knew it, my fifteen minutes were done and I felt exactly the same. I was ready to turn in the towel, but remembered that I had promised myself 100 days, so I changed gears.
I started focusing on guided meditation. Guys, what a game changer. Through guided meditation, I was able to learn the fundamentals, like breathing methods to help me concentrate and meditations focused on where I needed the most help. I also started listening to sleep meditations to help me have a better quality of sleep.
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- I have never slept better in my life. This keeps me more focused at work and ultimately, a lot nicer to be around.
- I have more clarity during the day, which helps me be more productive at work and has assisted me in developing a new business plan during my downtime.
- I have noticed a dramatic decrease in my anxiety at work. This is something that has plagued me for years and is now barely background noise.
- It helps me feel more self-assured, which has let me take risks on projects and gain trust in my new position.
Because meditation makes you stay mindful and connected with yourself, it becomes easier to tap into the best version of yourself. For me, this has meant a boost in confidence.
Interested in starting to add meditation to your routine? Here are some pointers.
1) Find the time.
It’s suggested that the best time to meditate is first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to get your day started, clear your mind, and set your intentions for the day. This may mean you need to start your day thirty minutes early, but once it becomes a habit, you won’t want to start any other way.
Other times could be on your lunch, work breaks, or any points when you’re feeling stressed. I’ve done a few meditation breaks in my car when I felt overwhelmed or anxious.
2) Use an app.
While meditation is all about disconnecting from everything, you are going to want to connect with a meditation app. There are plenty out there that do a great job of taking you by the hand if you are new to meditation, and give you principles and guided meditations to help you stay centered. These apps are great to help you experiment with the meditation style that works best for you.
3) Propose a meditation break for work.
More and more companies are promoting meditation at work because they see the difference in both productivity and morale. You don’t need to convince your employer to spend a lot of money to encourage mindfulness through meditation — you could propose a ten-minute break once a week where staff are welcome to join a large room to meditate, or encourage meditation through your internal newsletter.
I have made it past 200 days in a row now with this challenge, and I have no intention of stopping. You don’t have to commit to 100 days to see a major shift in your career and life. This action of self care will help you feel more centered, become a better person at work, and find a happier version of yourself.
You deserve that.
Noelle Johnson is a corporate Jill-of-all-trades who has worked in many industries as the office “swiss army knife.” Her responsibilities include conducting interviews, leading projects, advising executives, basic coding, event planning, accounting, and so much more. She is passionate about diversity, breaking glass ceilings, and helping others achieve success.
Originally published at www.ellevatenetwork.com.