Find your Zen

As students, teachers, business professionals, or whatever our role, stress is a part of our everyday lives. Whether you’re in your in the pubic sector or the private sector, stress is always looming over us. Stress and even anxiety can be caused by many things such as: project due dates, preparing for presentations, finances, relationships and just about anything else you can think of. There are many different ways of dealing with stress, but there is one method that is particularly popular these days and that is the art of meditation.

But why are we talking about stress and meditation?

I bring you the topic of meditation because it has powers beyond reducing stress. Meditation has been in practice all over the world for centuries and is used for various reasons including: relaxation, self-reflection and feeling more connected to one’s self. The art of meditation can be used during any part of your day and truly can make you feel more relaxed or energized, depending on your needs. It helps you to connect to your body and experience yourself in the present, and gives you some time during the day to reflect on how you are feeling, to considering issues that may be bothering you, etc.

Through continued practice of meditation I have learned to live more in the moment and appreciate the small things that I usually take for granted. What I mean by this is that I am not on my phone when I am out with friends, and I appreciate the powers of toothpaste while brushing my teeth, for example.

Meditation is something for everyone to discover on their own and use it in whichever way they see fit. So here are some beginners’ steps to meditation. Namaste!

1. Be comfortable in a quiet place. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. To get started, it doesn’t matter whether you sit or lay down as long as you are comfortable. You can sit cross-legged, on the floor, or on a chair. If you can sit erect, then great. If not, it’s just important to have your body in a somewhat stable position. Then have the palms of your hands face the sky.

2. Become “present.” Become “present”, i.e., become totally aware of your current surroundings. What do you hear? How does it feel to sit? Do you feel tension? Where are your thoughts?

3. Focus on your breath. As you take long and deep breaths, feel your breath move from your lungs and out through your nostrils or your throat. (Breathing through your nostrils is better though either will work). Your mind will wonder (which is okay), just try your best to be as focused as possible.

4. Feel your body. Once you’re focused, take notice of your body and how each body part feels. Start with the toes and work your way up to your head. If your mind continues to wonder then bring your thoughts back to your breath. Breath 5-10 times with full concentration on each breath. Take it a step further and hum “Om” as you breathe out.

5. Practice, practice, practice! Like anything, practice makes perfect. Make sure to carve out a time each and every day to practice. You’ll hopefully find all your practice totally worth it as meditation can be life-changing!

Retrieved from MindBodyGreen

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