Meditation is the practice of focusing your mind through visualization or mindful awareness to give you a sensation of clarity, calmness and understanding. It’s easy for us to become overwhelmed by the responsibilities of everyday life—work-related projects, getting the kids to school on time, paying the bills—but inviting meditation into your life, even just for five minutes each day, can greatly reduce feelings of anxiety, promote mental wellness and increase your focus. You can try adding one of these meditation techniques to your morning routine or practice throughout the day to keep you focused and happy.
The Benefits of Meditation
The most obvious benefits of meditation are some of the results previously mentioned, like feelings of serenity and an enhanced sense of focus. However, studies have found dozens of physical and mental benefits associated with meditation. No matter what type of lifestyle you lead, you can reap the rewards of this practice.
Most people practice meditation to promote feelings of calmness and diminish their work-related stress, but research has found that meditating can also help sharpen your focus , making you even more productive and less anxious about your tasks. Some studies also cite physical benefits such as lowered blood pressure and a stronger immune system.
Making Meditation Part of Your Life
Begin Each Morning with a Five-Minute Breathing Exercise
Taking time at the beginning of each day to get yourself focused and relaxed can start you off on the right foot. Many of us wake up and immediately begin worrying about all the work and errands we need to get done that day, leading us to feel tense and anxious before we’ve even made it to the office. Instead, set aside just five to 10 minutes every morning to clear your mind. Whether you practice a visualization technique, use focal point meditation or just work on breathing exercises, these few moments of concentration will provide mental clarity and help motivate you for the day ahead. You can also try goal-setting meditation, in which you set and visualize a specific goal to further propel you toward this intention.
Practice Mindful Eating at Lunch
We tend to think of meditation as an activity that must be done alone or among a group of others who are practicing at the same time, but you can actually integrate meditation techniques into any time of the day. Too often we find ourselves scarfing down our lunches, trying to finish our meal as quickly as possible, so we can return to whatever work-related project has captured our attention. But, many people also notice that their ability to focus and be productive tends to diminish in the afternoon. To set yourself up for success in the second half of your day, use your lunch break to actually let your mind be still. Practice the art of being present in the moment with mindful eating . With each bite, try to savor the texture and flavor of each ingredient. Notice the smells associated with your lunch and pay attention to how it feels to eat the food.
Create a Mantra for Yourself
Mantras can be extremely helpful when trying to keep our minds focused on something specific. You can create your own mantra or research traditional phrases and find one that resonates with you. Throughout the day, you can repeat your mantra silently to remind you of your goals and help boost productivity. When first introducing a mantra to your meditation practice, try to create a rhythm between your breathing and your mantra repetition.
Incorporate Stones and Beads into Your Meditation
Crystals and gemstones are unique tools that can deepen your meditation practice and work as physical reminders of your techniques. Most people who practice meditation for stress relief are looking to do grounding exercises that can be enhanced by the right crystals. Lava stone beads are perfect for promoting grounding and stability , further strengthening those feelings of mental clarity. Of course, crystals come in all different shapes and sizes, but the lava stone beads are perfect for daily meditation because they can easily fit into your pocket or made into a bracelet to wear. Having your lava stone beads with you can remind you to practice your breathing techniques when things get to be too much during the day.
Use a Daily Meditation App
Thanks to huge technological advancements, we have access to a nearly endless amount of information and advice. If you’re just becoming interested in meditation and you need some guidance, or if you just prefer guided meditation, you should definitely research some of the many apps that exist. Headspace is one of the most popular, and it offers both a free and paid version. Of course, with the purchased version of the app, you’ll have access to many more exercises, but the free selection is a great way to give the app a try and see if you’re interested.
Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps because it has a huge collection of guided exercises on everything from personal growth to productivity and motivation. These themed sessions make it easy to focus your meditation efforts on a specific goal and help keep your mind from wandering.
Start an Office Yoga Group
Though yoga incorporates physical poses into the practice, it is a form of meditation and a way to focus your mind and energy on one specific breath or motion. If you’re feeling the pressure of work, it’s likely that the other people around are experiencing similar feelings, so why not start a group that can help everyone relax? Ask around the office to see if anyone would be interested in a weekly or bi-weekly yoga class at the beginning or end of the day. Then, slowly incorporate basic poses and breathing techniques to get yourself into a meditative state and release some of the unwanted tension.
Make Meditation Part of Every Day
Practicing meditation only takes a few moments each day, but the benefits can be astronomical. Spend time working on your breathing techniques or visualization exercises in the morning, and remind yourself of your practice throughout the day by carrying a mala prayer bracelet or grounding lava stone rocks with you. Crystals can help heighten your meditation experience, and the Bead Traders collection of gemstone beads can turn your crystals into wearable jewelry.
This article contributed by guest blogger, Brenda Kimble
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