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When Work Woes Are Getting You Down, Put Yourself in Time Out

Like most parents, when my daughter was younger and misbehaved, I relied on the tried-and-true punishment of the ubiquitous ‘time out’. It was clear, quick, easy to monitor, and most importantly, effective. After just a few minutes of sitting quietly to “think about what she had done”, her whole demeanor changed. It was as if the silence was magic, softening her angry edges and allowing her to return to her normal, adorable self. (I always had a sneaking suspicion that she was naughty just so she could create some forced quiet time for herself.)

When we find ourselves stressed out, snipping at our colleagues, and struggling with focusing on that all-important project we just can’t seem to summon the energy to tackle, maybe it’s time to take matters into our own hands and take a big-kid time out.

Mindfulness and meditation has been around for ages, but it has only recently found its way into the mainstream through initiatives in corporations, athletics, law enforcement, and in education. In fact, mindful classrooms are popping up all over the world that give students a new way of coping with challenges and behavioral issues: using meditation instead of detention. It turns out that when we end up giving our young people the tools to quiet their minds, increase body awareness and regulate their breathing, they are remarkable at turning those frowns upside down.

How can you put yourself in time out the next time you feel overwhelmed by your workload and your bad mood is threatening to stink up the joint? Try these simple solution