Quick Tips

QUICK TIP: Meditate to Reduce Stress

By September 24, 2017 No Comments

Take a little time to consider meditation.

Slow down. Breathe. Just 10 minutes a day can make a difference!

When I meditate, my thoughts are like ping pong balls bouncing all over my brain.  I need to practice, so I can get those ping pong balls to slow down and give me a chance to feel centered. Surprisingly, with a commitment of just 10 minutes per day, I’ve trained my mind to settle down more quickly and simply observe those ping pong balls, accept them and watch them bounce away.

THE RESULT:

I’m more relaxed.

My breathing slows.

I am able to put things into perspective.

I feel LESS STRESSED!

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not.  In fact, one study found that when given the choice, people preferred getting a mild electric shock to be alone with their thoughts.  Whoa!

So, what is a stressed out person to do? Here’s what I recommend to get you into the meditation groove.

BABY STEPS

Part of my resistance to meditation was my incorrect assumption that I had to think about nothing. Not so. You think about what you’re thinking about, but you think about these things differently. You are no longer a thinker/doer. You are a thinker/observer. See the difference? Try these steps for a week and see what happens.

Baby Step #1

Set aside 10 minutes a day. Yes! Just 10 minutes can make a difference. Schedule it like you would any meeting, dentist appointment, or errand.

Baby Step #2

Find a quiet, comfortable spot. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and observe. Watch all of the thoughts as they bounce around your brain. Don’t judge or plan or attribute emotion. Just watch them. Then visualize them slowly floating away. Before you know it, you’ll go deeper and deeper into the quiet and stillness inside your multitasking mind space.

Baby Step #3

Do it again tomorrow.

Tools to Support Meditation

Apps

I’ve only tried Headspace which features a free level-one course with multiple, easy-to-follow 10-minute sessions. If you decide you like it, you can purchase a subscription to access more features.

Healthline.com has a thorough list of meditation apps and includes iPhone/Android ratings, a brief summary of the app, and their favorite thing about the app. The recommended apps include:

  • Buddhify
  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • MINDBODY Connect
  • Mindfulness App
  • Meditation Timer Pro
  • Omvana
  • Relax Melodies
  • Smiling Mind
  • Take a Break
  • Sattva

Comfort

You don’t need to sit cross-legged with your back as straight as a board. Meditation is not supposed to be uncomfortable. Get comfy. Here are some things to consider:

  • Find a favorite chair that you sink into
  • Use a soft pillow that you can place on you lap
  • Get your favorite blanket and snuggle up with it

Environment

Why not make your meditation time a ritual with items and mood setting that create a calm environment. My recommendations:

  • A candle
  • Incense
  • Calming music
  • Wave or rain sounds

If you have any favorite resources or suggestions, share them in the comments or on my social media sites!

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