No, you don’t need to be sitting quietly in a candle lit room, or listening to Tibetan chimes downloaded from iTunes. While it does sound amazing to go to a wooded retreat to reach inner peace, it isn’t necessary — or very likely for that matter.
The reality is that you spend most of your life following the same routine, but somewhere in the chaos you need to find a little peace. The good news is that self-care through meditation is easier than you think!
Pay attention to your breath
Try this. As you breathe in, count to 1 in your mind; and as you breathe out, count to 1. Breathe in — count 2. Breathe out — count 2. Continue all the way up to 10, and then go backwards back to 1. If you get distracted and lose count, just start over.
Funny how once you get your mind involved in the process of breathing, it takes up a lot of mental bandwidth! That’s because breathing is your true “life’s work” essentially.
At the office you are busy prioritizing your thoughts for the deadlines coming up. Often you are still mentally putting out the fires of yesterday at the same time. Meditation quickly and efficiently allows you to leave regrets in the past and anxiety in the future, where they belong.
It only takes a couple minutes to focus on the here and now. When you get it right, your breath becomes a center of soothing calm. That is meditation through mindfulness.
Find your trigger
There is no wrong time to listen to your breath. But in the beginning, it’s a good idea to pair it with something you do everyday. It could be while waiting in line in the parking garage, or taking the recycling out. You can do it while conditioning your hair in the shower!
Practicing meditation daily and consistently develops a powerful habit for mindfulness. It forms like any other habit. You have to do it daily, even if it is just two minutes a day.
Meditation in practice
The beauty of your practice is that it is ready for when you need it most. When you do find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the size of your inbox, frustrated by an important document lost, or the gnawing anticipation before public speaking, you can instantly transport yourself to the tranquility of your practice.
Find your zen! And go there whenever you please!