What do you think about when you picture your current office space? To many of us, we associate our workplace with being stressful, demanding, and taxing. I have found that more often than not these negative feelings correspond to low productivity and emotional turmoil. But what if I told you that with minimal funds and a few changes you could completely transform your desk from stressful to calm, peaceful, and focused? Below are five ways that I turned my office space around to make it somewhere I wanted to be, not somewhere I felt chained to.
Use the power of words
This is an important part of zen philosophy. The concept of your mantra. This can be easily done by hanging your very own motivational quotes or posters on the wall. The repetition of a certain word or phrase can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your office space and ultimately your work. You can do so by finding motivational posters that speak to you, in stores, or even online. Alternatively, if you have a certain phrase in mind you can head to your local printing store to create your poster for the walls that surround your desk. You will be surprised by the impact that this will have although it is quite subtle.
Bring the outdoors indoors
I have done a lot of research into the way that indoor plants have a positive effect on our minds and body. It seems that indoor plants could just be the answer to our stress and anxiety. Bringing a little bit of nature indoors can have such a positive and immediate impact on your mental health and it is a change that you will certainly be thankful for. I found that by adding one or two plants to my workplace my mood improved and stress seemed to reduce significantly. When it boils down to it, we are animals and nature is a huge part of our lives. However, with the constant development of our environment nature is getting further and further from us. This is a good way to bring a little with you and brighten your day.
Get a small office water feature
Water is another large part of zen philosophy. It is a symbol of the duality between humans and nature. A small water feature in your office can also bring a little nature to you while you work, just as indoor plants do. Water is formless, adaptable, and alters any landscape. One of my favorite quotes that highlight the amazing qualities of this life-giving liquid is from Bruce Lee; "If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
Make tea a part of your daily routine
To accompany our often busy and fast-paced work lives coffee is our go-to hot beverage. But I found that transferring to tea had an overwhelmingly calming effect on me during the workday. Coffee is of course full of caffeine, but this can harm our state of mind and our ability to get a restful sleep. This is why tea can be a great alternative. It curbs your cravings when you are weaning yourself off coffee and does not contain as much if any, caffeine. Have some tea bags at the ready in the break room or your desk so that you will always have your fix handy. What I also love about tea, as well as being calming, is that it comes in so many different flavors. Of course, my go-to is traditional peppermint tea, earl grey, green tea, and even blueberry tea have also made my ever-expanding list.
Find serenity now with an office zen garden
Now for the pinnacle of zen, the traditional zen garden. They contain minimal, sweeping lines and perfectly ordered elements to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere. These rock gardens are quintessentially zen. You can get zen gardens of any size to fit perfectly in the space that you have. I do not have a large space to fit even a medium-sized zen garden, but I was able to find one that fit my needs exactly. When I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed I take a deep breath and take 5 minutes out to restructure the tiny garden, raking the sands, rearranging the rocks to form different patterns and a wholly new space. Amazingly this has a very noticeable effect on my well-being and I would recommend this to anyone who suffers from mild to severe anxiety at work. It can be a stressful environment, but it doesn't have to be.
To zen or not to zen?
Creating a zen workspace does not have to be expensive or extravagant. Just some minimal changes can have an overwhelming effect on the way that you feel and the way that you manage your workload for the better. From zen gardens to a simple switch to tea, you too can reap the benefits of a zen atmosphere where you need it most. Zen is a great way to incorporate mindfulness and other useful concepts into your workspace. You can reduce your stress and up your tranquillity by just including a few small changes to your life and you will certainly feel the difference in a short space of time.
I found these changes quite useful in my own life and have reaped the rewards since making the change myself. I can say that my stress levels have reduced quite significantly and I feel more at peace, while my creativity and time management have continued to improve drastically.
These are just five ways in which you can bring zen to your office space, but I found that they are the ones that have helped me the most and made a difference in my work life. So, try them for yourself and start the journey to reducing your stress and reaching a whole new level of peace within yourself.
Love & Blessings, X