Do You Want To Relax And Think Clearly?
Learning To Be In The Moment
Imagine thinking clearly, and feeling relaxed at will. Could you get more done? Enjoy life more? Would you like to know how to do that right now? Start by learning how to put yourself more in the moment with a simple mindfulness exercise.
Basic Mindfulness Exercises
A basic mindfulness exercise begins with sitting down, relaxing and breathing deeply. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing, following the breath in and out a few times. Then move your attention to your body, one part at a time, noticing any sensations of cold, hot, tight, sore or anything you can identify. After a few minutes, start listening to the sounds of the room, without judging, criticising or thinking about them. Just listen for a minute.
Open your eyes and look around as if seeing for the first time. Rest your eyes on any object for half a minute. Examine it without talking about it in your mind. Repeat this with another object, and then another, while still maintaining an awareness of your body and breath. Continue this state of mindfulness until you're ready to get up.
When sensing your body, your breath, and your immediate surroundings, you are more fully "in the moment." A mindfulness exercise like this puts your mind in a receptive state while removing mental distractions that hinder clear thinking. It leaves you ready to work mentally. Do this before important mental tasks and you'll find you have more focus and concentration.
Using Mindfulness For Daily Life
When you're in the middle of a task and feel stressed, stop. Take three deep breaths, then carefully watch yourself until identify what is bothering you. Find everything you can. Are you expecting something bad to happen? Is an argument from this morning still going on just below the surface of your consciousness? Are you worried about something? Is some part of your body in pain? Note everything you find.
Now deal with these thieves-of-concentration one by one. Make the phone call that's on your mind, take an aspirin if you need to, and apologise to someone if necessary. Take things from your mind and put them on a list for tomorrow (in writing). If all you can do is acknowledge that there's nothing you can do right now - do that. After doing this mindfulness exercise, you'll feel less stressed, and you'll be able to concentrate more effectively on the tasks at hand. Try it now.
Steve Gillman has meditated and studied meditation for over twenty years. You can visit his website, and subscribe to The Meditation Newsletter at: TheMeditationSite.com/newsletter.html
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A Forty-Five-Second Meditation
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