If you have heard that meditation can help you relieve work stress. It absolutely can. But, not every meditation technique is going to relieve work stress for every person.  This can be frustrating when you are already stressed at work and want immediate relief  — you do not have the time to do a 10 – 30 minute meditation practice, especially if you do not know if it works for you. 

That is where doing short practices, I call them micro-hits, can help. Micro-hits last 30 seconds to a few minutes. You can try short versions of guided meditations while you experience work stress to see which ones work for you.  I’m sharing five short guided meditations for you to play with, each recording is between 2-4 minutes long.  Try each of the guided meditations and see which one helps to relieve work stress and heighten your career contentment.

There are two methods you can use when trying to relieve work stress.

  1. You can anchor away from the stress and focus on something else.
  2. You can also turn toward the stress and open yourself to it and examine it with curiosity.

Usually, the anchoring away techniques work better for stress relief because focusing on different things and in different ways takes the attention off the stress. It takes your attention off of “Ugh, I am so stressed” and onto something else happening in your internal or external space. The turn toward techniques are “feel the feels” techniques. Sometimes turning toward the stress can make it feel worse. Test it out and see which ones work for you.  

Five guided meditations you can do to relieve work stress video

Here are five guided meditations you can do to relieve work stress. In this video, I show an overview of the five techniques. Below, I’ve included longer descriptions and short audio guidance. I would suggest trying a different technique each day to see which one works for you.  

When you’re looking for relief, choose the technique that is easiest for you. Once your base stress has decreased over a few weeks, you can try playing with the other techniques to build more mindfulness skills. 



Meditation technique to relieve work stress 1: See Out

See Out is an appreciation technique, it helps you to appreciate what is in the visual sense category. 



When we are able to keep the mind aware of simple basic sensory experiences, like seeing things, it prevents us from getting caught up in our stories and thoughts. When we don’t add to the stress, we have a chance of getting relief from it. 

In See Out, your focus range is external visual experiences. Your main job is to look at the room you’re in and when your attention is pulled to an object you take a second to acknowledge your attention has been caught. And, then you label it “SEE.” Then drop your attention on that object and let it be freely drawn to another, or the same object. Acknowledge and label it SEE. Repeat for 30 seconds – 2 minutes. 

Once you finish take a moment to see if you feel any relief and note how it has changed. 

The cool thing about See Out is that you can do it anywhere, even in the midst of a stressful encounter.

Guided Meditation to Relieve Work Stress 1 Audio (1:28 minutes long)



Meditation Technique to Relieve Work Stress 2: Feel Your Feet

Feel Your Feet is an appreciation technique, it helps you appreciate the natural sensations you can feel in your feet

Just like See Out, we narrow our focus onto one sense category, feel. We narrow it even further by only paying attention to our feet. As you focus on sensations on your feet, your attention on your stress is in the background and has time to loosen. This gives relief. 

In Feel Your Feet, you place your feet flat on your ground. One at a time, notice and press each toe into the ground. Press your heels into the ground. Pay attention to any sensations in your feet. You may notice a sense of energy between your toes and heels, or in your arches. Focus on the sensations of your feet as if they are the most interesting part of you. If you want to use labels, you can label any feeling as Feel. You can label any restful or non-activity as Rest. If you notice there is movement, you can label that Flow. Keep your attention on foot sensations for 30 seconds to a minute. 

Once you finish take a moment to see if you feel any relief and note how it has changed. 

Listen to the Guided Meditation to Relieve Work Stress 2 Audio (1:52 minutes long)



Meditation Technique to Relieve Work Stress 3: Hear Out

Hear Out is another appreciation technique that takes your attention off your work stress and onto what you can hear externally. 


It works the same as See Out and Feel Feet techniques, except this time your object of focus is on external auditory experiences. Narrow your attention to external sounds in the environment. When you notice a sound, acknowledge that you’ve heard something and label it “Hear.” You can say “hear” aloud or inside to yourself. Stay with it for a few seconds, and then drop your attention until it is drawn to another sound, note it and label it hear. Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 


Listen to the Guided Meditation to Relieve Work Stress 3 Audio (2:14 minutes long)



Meditation Technique to Relieve Work Stress 4: Auto Move

Unlike the three appreciation practices above, Auto move is an Express Spontaneity technique. You focus your attention on spontaneity in any kind of physical body movement while releasing enough control to let your body movements just happen on their own.

In the guided meditation, I suggest doing it at your desk, but you could do this by standing up and using your whole body (if you don’t have co-workers to judge you).  In either position, relax and then get curious about how your body moves. 

This practice asks you to tune into the experience of your body’s ability to move. It’s so simple, but because we are always moving and pushing ourselves, we often focus on the movement itself, but not where that source of movement comes from. In this technique, you give yourself a break and you say to your body, “Hey, move how you want to.” Your job is to focus on the spontaneous way that happens.

One warning: this technique often takes a bit of guesswork. If you’re not used to just letting your body do what it wants, this might be more of a challenge than you need right now. Give this three-minute guided meditation a try and see if it helps relieve your work stress.

Listen to the Guided Meditation to Relieve Work Stress 4 Audio (3:05 minutes long)


Meditation Technique to Relieve Work Stress 5: Past, Present, or Future

The fifth technique is an appreciation technique, you are working with what is happening as it happens. It’s also a turn toward the technique — instead of bringing our attention to external sights, sounds, or feeling sensations, we direct it towards the stress thoughts. Once you notice a stressful thought, this technique asks you to label it past, present, or future.

While sitting or standing, make the intention to watch your thoughts. When a thought arises notice if it’s related to the past, present, or future by saying the word aloud or silently to yourself.  Sometimes when you do this technique it seems to scare your thoughts away and you have stillness in your mind. If that happens to you, no worries, that’s the present. 

The Past, Present, or Future technique helps in three ways:

  1. It helps you to see what kind of thoughts occupy your mind when you’re stressed. This builds insight and sensory clarity. 
  2. Noting and labelling can stop the thoughts in their tracks without you needing to intentionally stop them. This can give you immediate relief.  
  3. It builds equanimity. As you note and label each thought, you don’t show a preference for one thought type over another. You neutrally say, past, present, or future. You see that the stressful thought is only a thought, and you get to relax around it. 

Listen to the Guided Meditation to Relieve Work Stress 5 Audio (3:04 minutes long)


How to work with these five guided meditations to relieve work stress



Play around with these five techniques and see which technique is easiest for you right now. Is it a see, feel or hear technique?

Most people have a preference. Remember that even if a technique is easy for you. it still has an impact. The five exercises above not only give you relief, but they build your concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity too. These are the base mindfulness skills. So, while it may feel like, “Oh, I’m just looking around the room and seeing things,” you’re actually systematically building skills that will help you in your career. 

The three base mindfulness skills

You might be interested in learning more about these base mindfulness skills. I know when I first started meditating all I wanted to do was find a technique that helped me feel better. For me, it was Hear Out. There was something soothing and easy about it. As time went on and I started to do hear out for longer periods, I noticed that not only could I do it for longer, but I could concentrate on other things for a longer period too. Writing became easier. I was a better listener. I started investigating what was happening due to my meditation practice and learned that the technique was building three skills, concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity. 

Concentration: Concentration is the ability to focus on what you want to focus on when you want to focus on it. 

At work, this is an incredible skill to harness. If you can focus on what you need to focus on, without being distracted, your gold. This is also amazing when you’re a creative — you get to fully dive into your work at a deeper and more concentrated level than before. This allows you to stick with projects and ideas for a longer time, and usually access connections/ideas that others can’t. 

Also, being in a high state of concentration is inherently enjoyable. So, you’ll feel more pleasure at work from your new focus. 

Sensory Clarity:  I like the way my teacher Shinzen Young describes this in this interview, he says, 

“Sensory clarity is the ability to keep track of what’s going on, what’s on the inside, what’s on the outside, what’s visual, what’s auditory, what’s [embodied?] – keeping track – inner or outer, activation/rest states related to see/hear/feel, if we put smell and taste under “body”, that’s sort of our whole sensory experience, so the ability to know what you’re experiencing with clarity – that’s an important awareness skill.” Shinzen Young interview, 2021

One big thing about stress is that people don’t always know when it is happening. So, by doing the above exercises you develop sensory clarity. You can start to notice the subtle way stress begins in your body. You might notice a tightening of your jaw, a feeling in your stomach, or your eyes twitch. Once you feel that, you can do one of these meditations to relieve work stress, and it has less time to become big stress. As sensory clarity grows, you also get to see things more clearly, you notice details, and it;’s almost like you’re seeing things in hyper colour. Find out how to know if you have mindfulness skills

Equanimity: Equanimity is the ability to let the senses do their thing without self-interference

If a thought comes up, it’s just a thought and you’re not adding to the story or compounding the stress by your reaction to it.  Same with any other sensory experience. There is no push or pull.  So, if you notice you are feeling stressed, you get to a place where you can intentionally release it by just letting it be. You have open ease to whatever is coming up for you. There is less inner friction and you suffer less. You don’t have a thought and then allow it to pull you into the past or future.  Equanimity can be built by having a consistent mindfulness practice, the fourth technique is a great way to build equanimity and get relieved from work stress at the same time. 

Did any of the techniques work? What to do next? 

Do all of the techniques, you may do one type for a week, or play with a different technique every day. Once you know which one works for you, use it. The secret to meditation working in your life to reduce stress is implementation. 

If you experience relief and want to dig deeper into the techniques and be systematically trained on how to use meditation to improve your impact, credibility, and creativity at work, check out the Career Contentment Club SET ONE course.