My goal with this post is to share a few easy meditation and mindfulness techniques to incorporate into your daily routine. Simple methods to relax the body, quiet your thoughts and emotions, and refresh your energy.
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One basic definition of meditation, or mindfulness meditation, is focusing on doing one thing at a time – which brings us to the present moment. Distraction has become our new reality in a world where we are constantly checking and sending email, texts, and our social media updates.
Learning to quiet the mind has undeniable benefits at a time when our attention is on overload and overwhelm from multiple sources all day, every day.
Many CEO’s and Entrepreneurs have reported that a meditation practice is one of their keys to success. Read more about this in the resource links at the end of this post.
Perception is reality. How many people conjure up an image of a guru in a sitting lotus position chanting OM for hours when you hear the word meditation?
Reality Check…Meditation can be as easy as just focusing on your breath!
Practice this simple breathing meditation:
- Set a 10 minute (or longer) timer. Download the free Insight Timer or just use the timer on your phone clock
- Sit comfortably in a chair or on a pillow on the floor
- Sit up straight and tall – visualize a white light or cord aligning your spine from the top of your head through your spine and grounding you into the earth
- Place your hands in your lap or on your thighs
- Simply place your attention on your breath as you breath in and out normally
Inhale… visualize a beautiful white light flowing through you – cleansing your body and cells
Exhale… stagnant energy and breath – release it
- If you find your mind wandering to random thoughts and/or what you have to do today, just release those thoughts and bring your focus back to your breath
Benefits of Meditation
There is no denying it… meditation enhances your overall well-being – your mental and physical health.
Meditation – and mindfulness meditation, in particular – will reduce your cortisol level, blood pressure, social anxiety and depression. It will increase your immune response, resilience and focus and improve your relationships — including the one with yourself.
It will also bolster your performance at work, fosters compassion and empathy, and provides inner peace and balance.
Here’s another super-easy meditation that focuses on your breathing from Dr. Andrew Weil:
The 4-7-8 Breath (also known as the Relaxing Breath) is the perfect, portable stress antidote, as it puts you in a relaxed state almost immediately. It takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.
Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.
Recommended Resources & Reading
- CEO.com: More Mindfulness, Less Meditation
- Huffington Post: The Daily Habit of these Outrageously Successful People
- Business Insider: 14 Executives Who Swear By Meditation
- Develop Good Habits: 71 Mindfulness Exercises for Living in the Present Moment
- Psychology Today : 6 Mindfulness Exercises That Each Take Lass Than 1 Minute
- Pocket Mindfulness: 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today
I find it easier sometimes to practice with a guided meditation.
- Tara Brach Meditation and Mindfulness teacher
- Susan Piver‘s Open Heart Project is a great source of weekly 10-minute guided video meditations. Sign up for the free Open Heart Project via email. Visit Susan’s Blog for an archive of past video meditations.
- Suzanne Giesemann offers 3 wonderful free meditation downloads on her site that I highly recommend.
- I am also a fan of Kelly Howell’s guided meditations at BrainSync.com
So, no more excuses. Start today! Make it a part of your daily routine – begin with 10 minutes of focused breathing and see where it takes you.
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