Take an Afternoon Meditation Break - Right Now!
One of the best things you can do for your well-being is to use between 5-10 minutes daily to relax your mind and meditate. Just taking this simple step lowers anxiety, decreases muscle tension, and increases concentration abilities, among many other benefits. I know it's hard remembering to dedicate time to meditate on the regular - even I forget to stop everything I'm doing and breathe sometimes. But trust me - it will help all of us, mentally and physically, in the long run. Here are some basic steps to get an easy meditation practice going in your life:
One. Find the most quiet place you can in your home or office.
You want the least amount of noise possible so that your thoughts won't always get taken away from meditation.
Two. You can sit in a chair or directly on the ground, or lie down someplace.
It doesn't really matter how you position yourself as long as you are comfy enough to not get distracted by aches, but not so comfy that you'll immediately fall asleep!
Three. Set your timer.
A person not experienced with meditation would probably want to start at 5 minutes, and you can work your way up from there with time.
Four. To get started, I like to focus on my breath for a bit to clear my mind.
I put my hands gently on my stomach and slowly breathe in through my nose for 5 counts - hold it in for 5 counts - and then release with controlled breath for 5 counts. Do this small breathing exercise until you feel more relaxed.
Five. Once the mind feels relatively clear, I start breathing normally again, and just let it all go.
You don't have to focus on any imagery in your mind or concentrate on your breaths. Just be. Just breathe. It's okay if your mind wanders - this is a normal part of the practice. Acknowledge your thought with kindness but then try to clear your mind again.
TIP: When your mind gets distracted, use the breathing exercise from Step #4 to relax again, or repeat any type of positive mantra to yourself. Examples that I use include - "I am enough," "Life is so beautiful," and the classic "Om."
Six. Keep breathing and letting go of your stress until the timer goes off.
Remember: it's okay if your brain gets distracted. Just hear the thought, and try to let it go. Finish off the end of your meditation with a thought of gratitude for something or someone special in your life. Then it's time to go back to the real world until your afternoon meditation time tomorrow!
TIP: I like to use an app on my phone called Dharma Meditation Trainer to help me remember to sit down and focus on my breathing. A daily meditation reminder will pop-up, and the app provides you with a timer which increases your meditation length with usage.
Meditation is just that simple! The hard part is getting yourself to do it on a regular basis, but don't beat yourself up about it if you miss a day. Just get back to it the next day - it's a small action that majorly contributes to total well-being.
So do you have a regular meditation practice? If so, what is your preferred method? Everyone has their own way that works best for them. If you don't have a regular practice, what is keeping you from taking up meditation? Please share, and let us know in the comments below! :)
Have a beautiful day,