Whether you meditate every day or have never heard of meditation, here are six simple steps that will improve your life and help you relax!
There seems to be a great divide between those who meditate and those who don’t. For some, all they can picture are people in yoga poses or on Buddhist retreats - resulting in them believing meditation isn’t for them.
How can meditation help?
What is meditation? What is mindfulness? Should it be considered as part of our wellness routine? How can these meditation steps help us – at home and work?
Meditation can be defined as contemplation, thinking, reflection or deliberation. (I also have a blog on setting aside time to problem-solve daily – find it here)
Applying this particular self-management strategy helps you carve out the time to think about specific challenges or situations and how you might change them from repeating. Or it helps create an action plan to move forward through a stressful time.
Often what keeps us from implementing this strategy is the fact that most of us live a drive-by-life. (This is something I write about and talk about often in my emotional intelligence workshops)
A drive-by–life is when you go through your day at a hectic pace without taking the time to reflect, appreciate or enjoy. These days often turn into weeks and then months. I also have a quick video on the drive-by life phenomenon right here.
Living life this way is unsustainable. Eventually, you will burn out, which creates a spiral effect on every aspect of your life. The solution is sometimes a hard and fast look at your priorities, and on occasion, you may need to simplify your routine to ensure it’s manageable.
Often though, what we need to do is similar to maintenance on our vehicles. When you purchase a new vehicle, it can be considered maintenance-free – but only for a while! Regular ‘checkups’ are required – oil change, fluids, filter, eventually brakes, and so on. If you don’t take care of them, they will build up, and one thing leads to another, creating an even bigger problem on your hands.
Making meditation part of your routine.
For all of us, meditation should be part of our well-oiled routine.
Meditation is the feeling of deep peace that occurs when your mind is calm and silent.
For some, meditation is a vital step in having an excellent sleep. It can take as little as five minutes to relax and provide you with the reminders necessary to rest your mind – which at that time is what you need.
For other times of the day, it may be you need to switch gears from a meeting on a complex project to now solving a problem with a co-worker from earlier in the day, or maybe speaking with your teenage son or daughter about their current pressures. Meditation can help you switch gears more effectively.
Mindfulness is at the very core of meditation; to focus your awareness on the present moment. If that present moment is to stop thinking about one thing, you can clear your mind and then start thinking clearly about the next task at hand.
This can be compared to wine tasting and cleanse your palate to truly appreciate what you are about to experience in the next wine. The same can be applied to the flow of our day when we need to switch our attention.
The six simple meditation steps
Next time you finish a meeting and need to make a phone call, or you have to run to another event – take two minutes and try these meditations steps:
- Sit at your desk with your eyes closed (if possible).
- Take three deep breathes – so that you can feel the oxygen go from your lungs to your brain.
- Picture a box and pull all of the thoughts from your mind into that box.
- Relax the muscles in your face as you do this.
- Remind yourself that all of these thoughts are important, and you will get them back when you need them. At the moment, you will allow yourself to switch gears with focus and success.
- Take a final deep breath.
You can use this quick meditation and mindfulness exercise at any time, whether at work or home during the holidays or hectic times. Consider starting this practice now to enhance your personal and professional life in 2021! It will be the start of living more at the moment and less of a drive-by blur.
This article was originally published on December 11, 2016, and has been updated (March 2021).
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