meditation for working from home wfh

There are significant benefits of meditation for working from home [WFH].

If you’re one of the millions of people this year who has stopped working at the office or at another location and has been forced to work from home, meditation can help.

When working from home, meditation can improve your concentration, reduce anxiety, help you to feel less lonely and isolated, and make you happier while you work.

Working from home is a challenge for many reasons. For starters, you don’t get to see your friends at work. That can cause loneliness, which can lead to stress and general malaise. You might also feel less motivated because you don’t have your team behind you. There are also many distractions that could affect your job performance. It’s very easy to put on Netflix or hop on social media and watch the hours slip away while you’re achieving nothing.

Put it all together, and working from home is simply not ideal. Indeed, many people are now suffering from WFH burnout.

Sure, being able to work in your pyjamas is a nice novelty, but it wears off pretty quickly.

Thankfully, there are many benefits of meditation when working from home. Thanks to my own meditation sessions, I’ve been able to stay happy, focused, and productive. Many of my meditation students have also managed to overcome the challenges of working from home too. They tell me they are feeling content and being productive. And you can achieve the same things.

Let’s look at the benefits of meditation for working from home, and then I’ll share some tips to help you get started.

You might also like to read my guide to mindfulness at work.

Benefits of using meditation when working from home

You can improve your wellbeing and your job performance by meditating while working from home.

Here are the benefits you can expect to see.

Increased concentration & Productivity, Fewer distractions

When working from home, meditation can help you to stay focused and avoid distractions. Because you’re at home, there is likely all manner of distractions. Your kids, your pets, Netflix, social media, house chores…

It can be hard to stay focused during WFH.

You’re not accustomed to working from home. You’re used to doing family things at home. Because of that, your mind automatically goes to the things you typically do at home when you’re doing WFH. You’re naturally more inclined to look after the kids than to do the office work when you’re at home. This makes it hard to focus when working from home.

Thankfully, meditation can help you to focus when working from home. Meditation quietens your mind and grounds you, so you are more able to focus on your job.

Best meditations for this: Samatha

Studies show that Samatha is the best meditation for concentration.

Samatha is a Buddhist meditation in which we focus on one object. For instance, some people like to perform Samatha while focusing on the flame of a candle.

To do Samatha, choose a meditation object and start to focus on it. Let any thoughts and feelings subside. Aim to make your mind one with the object you’re meditating on. Continue for twenty minutes. This will greatly increase your concentration when working from home [1].

Less loneliness, more happiness

One of the biggest problems of WFH (working from home) is loneliness. This is usually the case, but it’s even worse in 2020. Isolation plus WFH can mean you’re totally severed from your social circles. And this can cause serious health problems. Loneliness is, in fact, a leading cause of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Health [2].

Not only does loneliness lead to negative emotions, but it can seriously affect your job performance when working from home. Being lonely makes you feel less motivated, so you work less hard, which could lead to problems down the road.

Thankfully, another benefit of meditation for working from home is this: Meditation makes you feel less lonely.

Best meditation for this: Metta

If you’re feeling lonely working from home, meditation can help, and especially Metta meditation (“Loving Kindness Meditation”).

Metta is a meditation technique in which we visualise giving and receiving love and kindness to and from other people.

Scientific research shows that Metta is highly beneficial for our mood. It can reduce feelings of sadness, isolation, grief, and other negative emotions. And it can boost feelings of social connectivity and, of course, love and kindness.

I personally believe that Metta is arguably the number one meditation we should all be doing in 2020 due to the isolation and political unrest.

Overworking from home

One of the biggest problems with WFH is being overworked [3]. This happens for a few different reasons. For starters, it can be harder to hit your work goals at home, where you have less access to your team and probably worse tech to work with. Plus, many people are overworking at home simply because they haven’t got anything else to do (this is usually the case if you live alone).

Overworking can cause health problems, including stress and insomnia. It is imperative for your health that you take frequent breaks and get away from work in the evenings. But it can be hard to “get away from work” when you’re working from home.

Thankfully, meditation can help.

Best meditation for this: Anapanasati

When working from home, meditation can help you to get away from your job and to unwind. That’s important because relaxation is essential for health and wellness.

The best meditation to relax when you’re doing WFH is Anapanasati (mindful breathing).

Anapanasati is a method in which we focus the mind on the breath as it moves around the body. Take 108 breaths while observing your breath in your body. This will produce feelings of calmness. Once you feel calm, meditate on the feeling of relaxation in your body and mind. This will leave you feeling utterly Zen.

Tips for using meditation when working from home

Many of my meditation students asked for my advice on how to use meditation when working from home. Here are my top tips.

Meditate before work

When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to jump out of bed and immediately start working. But you need your morning time to be calm and peaceful, so you’re ready for the busy day ahead. That’s why it’s a great idea to meditate before starting your workday.

Meditate after work

Because you’re working at home, your mind may become muddled about the difference between work-life and home-life. You want to create a distance between work and home—not easy during WFH!

Spend twenty minutes meditating hen you finish your WHF day. This will help you mentally distance yourself from work before continuing your day.

Practise mindful eating

One of the few breaks you get during WFH is your lunch break. Sadly, some people continue to work while eating in an attempt to finish the day faster. This is unwise. It would be best if you took some time in the middle of the day to calm and refocus your mind. That’s why you might like to practise mindful eating at lunch. Eat slowly and focus on the food. This is good for both your body and your mind.

Take “Top-Ups”

During WFH it can be too easy to sink into work and become consumed by it. But this is neither healthy nor productive. You need to take little breaks during the day, so you remain calm and focused. Every two hours take five minutes to meditate on your breath.

Zen Your Home

Because you’re working from home, you want your home space to be relaxing and organised. The more organised your home office is, the more productive you will be. Zen your home. Clean, organise, and try to include a few relaxing items in your workspace (for instance, Zen gardens, relaxing paintings, and background sounds like birdsong or meditation music).

Final Thoughts

Working from home is a real challenge. Not only is a challenge to be productive when working from home, but it’s a challenge to safeguard your mental health too. The loneliness of isolation makes this a perilous time for our mental health.

Thankfully, meditation can help.

As we’ve seen, there are many benefits of meditation for working from home. Meditation can help you to stay productive and calm, so not only do you accomplish more during your workday, you enjoy it more too.

Are you working from home? If so, I would love to hear from you.

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About Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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