It’s become common knowledge that many of our health problems stem from too much stress in our lives. Deadline crunches, hectic schedules and the constant reminder of slipping job security keeps us all on our toes and stressed out.
While we are hardly willing to pitch a tent in the woods and leave it all behind, we could all benefit from slowing down a little, if only for a few minutes, to regain our sanity, perspective and even our productivity. This easy meditation technique can be mastered in minutes and applied in the same amount of time. Use it daily to establish a habit of taking time for yourself and putting your mental and physical well being back onto your list of priorities.
Meditation requires a degree of mental allotment, which is always easier when you can retreat to a quiet, peaceful place. Now in today’s world, that quiet, peaceful place may be a stall in a bathroom (hopefully quiet anyway!) and that’s fine. Hollywood has perpetrated the image of mediation only being possible under a waterfall or in a monk’s monastery and that’s simply not true. Anywhere that you can slip away to and have just a few minutes of uninterrupted time to yourself will work.
To get started, get comfortable sitting or laying, close your eyes and simply focus on your breathing. Inhaling and exhaling is such an involuntary action that we seldom think about it or place any degree of focus on the process. For several moments, put all of your attention on the current of air as it enters your nose, flows into your lungs and circulates back out through your mouth. Take 10 slow, deep breathes while maintaining this focus. If you find that your thoughts wonder, pull your attention back onto your breathing.
Now, take a few minutes and expand this focus. Think for a few moments about the thousands and thousands of tiny processes that are occurring in your body at this very moment. Your hair and fingernails are growing right now, in so tiny an increment that you can’t even measure it. Your heart is pumping blood throughout your entire body and ensuring that you remain alive and healthy. There are so many activities going on inside your body at any one moment that it will really amaze you if you take a moment to think about it.
After you ponder on this and become aware of the various processes occurring automatically within yourself, expand this to the outside world. Even in the stillness of the room you are in, go through it mentally and become aware of everything happening around you. Is the wind blowing? Is there a clock ticking on the wall? You don’t have to focus on any one thing that’s happening around you. Simply become aware that there is a plethora of activities happening around you at this very moment.
After all, we are hurling through space at a dizzying speed constantly. Just be aware that you are an entity within this somewhat organized chaos. If you could freeze time and fly through the entire universe and see everything, just imagine the snapshots that could be captured. Imagine the things that are taking place in this single moment in time.
Now, slowly open your eyes and focus on one thing: being aware of yourself and your surroundings. Imagine the world in slow motion as you rise from your seated or laying position. Bring your new awareness with you as you re-embark on your day and remember your purpose and the beauty of the fallacy we call structure. Revel in your mortality, and embrace every experience, from drinking a glass of water, to meeting a new person. Do everything with awareness and keep this new perspective with you always.
This easy mediation technique takes only a few minutes and can have the greatest impact on your day and life when used routinely as it will heighten your sense of awareness of yourself and the world around you.