Career Woman

Workplace stress management strategies: visualization


More and more of us are working from home, but for those who venture to the office everyday the rewards can outweigh the lure of home comforts. Not least among those rewards are the discipline of the shared space and the routine (and exercise opportunity) of the daily walk or cycle to work.

But one of the key pleasures of the shared workplace that many remote workers miss is the human company. Okay, so quite often the pleasure comes through the challenge of getting to know folk you otherwise have little in common with, or the even tougher challenge of dealing with problems arising from those differences in attitude. That experience, ultimately, is at the heart of our species’ (debatable) success, however, which may be why we miss it when we don’t have it.

If you’re torn between the stress of face-to-face interaction and the eye-over-your-shoulder of a busy office versus the relative calm of working from home, learning a few coping mechanisms can make all the difference. In particular, there are a handful of visualization techniques that you can use to transport yourself, mentally, to another place when the office becomes too much.

Hushing the voices

For example, on a hectic day when everyone’s shouting at each other and asking for more from you, you can extend your productivity by taking the ‘quiet is a liquid’ scenario.

Doesn’t that phrase already make you feel calmer? Well, that’s just the name of the visualization, and the great thing is it also works for that nagging inner-voice. To activate it, close your eyes and imagine quietness as a cool liquid gently expanding in your head. Feel it pouring down your body until you’re entirely filled. Hold on to that thought and breathe slowly for a few minutes until it’s time to return your attention to work.

Congratulations: you just meditated! It’s a very effective way to take a break and reboot your soul when working in a high-pressure environment.

Calming down after a tricky task

It’s easy to let your workday get derailed by a difficult professional task. You put so much energy into getting past a particular hurdle, that the relief of getting it done leaves you  both pepped up and exhausted – and unable to concentrate on other stuff that needs doing.

When you’re working for yourself from home, you can reward yourself with some time off or restructure your day around predictable moments of exhaustion. But when you’re in a busy office with your colleagues and boss watching your every move, you’ll be expected to catch your breath and move on.

It’s moments like this you regret scanning past the “fast-paced environment’ line of the job description when you applied.

Once more, a visualization meditation can help you to reboot and get back in the zone. When it’s a case of coming down from that task-busting high, the ‘blue light’ technique can be the way to go.

This time, the visualization starts outside of your body. Picture that you’re enveloped in a glowing blue orb of light. Now calmly breathe it in so that it fills your entire head. Let it gather up all those dark gray wisps of stress, negativity, and exhaustion that have built during the mammoth task you just achieved. And then exhale the blue light with all the gray negativity it’s picked up.

Sense the grayness dissolving in the blue orb around you. Then continue to breathe in and out in this way until all the gray is gone and you are filled with crystal blue liquid.

A meditation or every occasion

Did it do the job?

Stress takes many forms and each one has its ideal visualization. These lovely new gifs from NetCredit guide you through seven such meditations, each of which can be done from the comfort of your office chair. That way, you get to check out of work now and then without your charming colleagues even noticing you’re gone.

About John Cole

John writes on behalf of NeoMam Studios. A digital nomad specializing in leadership, digital media, and personal growth topics, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in the UK, Norway, and the Balkans.

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