Monday, November 25, 2013

Take Five

Meditation.  I know, I know.  You don’t have time.  You’re too stressed.  It’s weird.  But, before you roll your eyes and zoom off to Black Friday sales, take five.  Why?  Because a recent neuroscience study reported that just five minutes of meditation a day can reduce anxiety by up to 22 percent, not to mention reducing stress levels and increasing immune function.  Just the ticket for these super-charged weeks coming up.
So, quick – how do you meditate in just 5 minutes?  First, set a timer for 5 minutes so you don’t have to worry about time.  Then follow the steps below.
Step #1:  Breathe.  Get into a comfortable position (no, you don’t have to sit cross-legged) and simply breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6.
 Step #2:  Breathe at your natural pace.  Stop counting your breaths.  Try to experience your breathing from nose to belly.
Step #3:  Stay focused on your breathing.  If random thoughts zip through your head, refocus on your breathing.  You will have the rest of the day to think.
Step #4:  Relax tight muscles by focusing your breath into tight areas.  Concentrate on typical tension zones:  jaw, neck, shoulders, stomach.
Step #5:  When the timer goes off or when you are ready to transition out of your meditation, think about something or someone in your life you are grateful for.
Step #6:  Tackle everything else.

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