Eric Harne explains how meditation can be used in the contact centre to relieve stress.
There is no escaping the fact that working in a contact centre can be stressful. The demands of customers, management, co-workers, and performance goals – to name but a few – can lead to a variety of issues negatively affecting us both physically and emotionally.
Meditation offers a mental workout which provides a variety of benefits, including deeper levels of relaxation, reduction in anxiety and increase in confidence.
The great news is that it isn’t necessary to sit for days on top of a mountain to achieve enlightenment; ten to fifteen minutes on a regular basis will reap benefits for the practitioner and you can begin on your own with just a few simple instructions.
1. Find a quiet place and close your eyes
Initially, you will want to find a quiet place to sit. As you gain experience, places with more activity won’t bother you, but for now, you want as few distractions as possible.
A chair will do. Sit up straight, with your feet flat on the floor and hands palms down on your lap (do not lie down, as this has the tendency to put you to sleep).
You may close your eyes or keep them half-open, whichever feels more comfortable.
2. Rhythmic breathing is the goal
Once you’re comfortably seated, begin to concentrate on your breathing.
Slow and rhythmic is the goal – inhaling then exhaling (each to the count of 5) is considered a cycle. Continue for 10 cycles.
3. Allow random thoughts to drift away and refocus on your breathing
One of the most important aspects of meditation is focus. As you concentrate on your breathing and counting cycles, random thoughts will inevitably intrude on the process. These may range from an earlier conversation with a co-worker to an encounter with an angry customer.
When such thoughts occur, attach no emotion to them. Accept them for what they are – random thoughts – and allow them to drift away and disappear, while refocusing once again on your breathing.
This is not an easy task; however, it serves two purposes:
- It enhances your power of concentration.
- You’re better able to handle day-to-day intrusions in a more positive fashion.
We can attach so many emotions to our interactions with others that sometimes they overwhelm us. Meditation calms the mind and allows us to put them in proper perspective.
Continued practice will eventually reduce the number of random thoughts and, in turn, allow you to develop a peaceful, balanced state, reducing stress and anxiety. This leads to better interactions with customers, co-workers and, most importantly, with ourselves.
Eric Harne is a security consultant/writer/speaker located near Harrisburg, PA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.