Feeling Stressed? Try This 15 Minute Activity That Makes You Feel Like You're On Vacation

Mondays can be stressful.  The thought submerging yourself back into a potentially unpleasant work environment can seem overwhelming.  I used to hate Mondays with a passion.  Lately, I've engaged in multiple conversations with friends who constantly express their disdain for Mondays. 

Sometimes it seems like our anxiety levels can get out control and we just have to endure.  Thankfully, I have some positive news to share.   It's possible to recreate feelings similar to taking a vacation simply, even while working, by incorporating one simple habit.
The worst thing you can do is to allow the daily stress of work to pile up.  Feelings of stress can manifest physically in the body.  One of my friends always gets sick when things get intense at work.  She pushes through but her body is always affected. 

We can't let things get that far.

 Thankfully, there's a solution, and it only takes 15 minutes.  According to the Journal of Positive Psychology, individuals who engage in meditation for as little as 15 minutes a day report experiencing similar effects as taking a vacation. 

You might be asking yourself, "how is that possible?"

During an 8 week study, researchers asked certain participants to meditate for 15 minutes a day while the control group went about their day as usual.  All the participants also went on a vacation at some point during the experiment.  Everyone was asked to complete a daily survey answering questions related to how they were feeling along with their level of awareness. 

 Specifically, the participants completed mindfulness meditation which involves focusing on the breath.  Whenever distracting thoughts start to creep in, we bring attention back to our breath. In the end, the participants who engaged in 15 minutes of meditation a day reported similar levels of awareness and feelings of well-being as when on vacation.

When you practice this habit for 15 minutes daily, you develop the skill of bringing mindfulness into your daily life.  Mindfulness allows us the ability to determine where we'll place our focus.  When we're on vacation, we focus on the positive experiences and emotions associated with our time off. Stress, on the other hand, causes us to focus on only the negative aspects of the situation. 

With regular meditation, we can recreate a similar sense of well-being, even in the midst of a hectic work day.  I meditated consistently when I worked in corporate America as a coping mechanism.  From first-hand experience, I can tell you that daily meditation works wonders.  One of my friends meditates/prays at work to counteract the stress associated with her job.  She has benefited immensely from being consistent with the practice.

Even if you aren't stressed out at work, I suggest you give mindfulness meditation a try.  There a ton of other brain benefits like enhanced focus, clarity, and concentration.  Honestly, I'm sure that meditating regularly accelerated my work performance, which lead to promotions and raises.   

You'll be surprised at the impact that a simple meditation practice can have on your life.  If you feel like you're off your game, it will help bring you back to balance.  If things are already going well, meditation can help take you to new levels. 
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  1. I'm not a meditator in the sense given here. What I usually do is get naked so I have freed myself from everything and get in the hot tube for 15-20 mins. Sometimes with a glass of wine and think about fun times from the past.

    Ms. K

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