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Meditation: A Simple Way to Start

We are a month into the new year and already that resolution to be less stressed has been tossed out the window. Well, bring that resolution back and focus on something that makes you tick. Your breath - yep, I am talking meditation.

Meditation involves concentrating on a single thought, word, image or movement and is a great way to reduce stress. Essentially you are trying to strengthen the relationship between your mind and body. How sweet. The goal is to quiet your mind by focusing on the moment instead of your worries.

So where to begin? I have always found it best to focus on my breath. So find a comfortable and quiet place to sit, I find it too tempting to fall asleep if I meditate lying down. Then focus on different aspects of your breath. How it sounds and how it feels.

I have heard meditation explained like this. Your mind is a puppy that is getting paper trained/housebroken and the paper is meditation. As your mind, the puppy, wanders off the paper you gently steer it back to the paper, which is your breath and meditation practice. Just as you wouldn't be harsh with a puppy learning where to "go," you shouldn't be harsh on yourself if your mind wanders. After all that is what the mind does.

Set an alarm for 5 or 10 minutes and meditate until the alarm goes off. No cheating or peeking. It may feel like an eternity, but it will soon get easier to focus your mind. Practice in this case doesn't make perfect, but makes one simply more self aware.

Shambala Centers offer classes on meditation in the Buddhist tradition. You can find centers listed by state on their website.

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SU3 SU3 10 years
*affect the way you live (not effect!)
SU3 SU3 10 years
This is great! I know this post is sort of old, but I had to comment. I recently did a presentation to the nurses on my unit about the benefits of meditation. So many are unaware of how much 5-10 minutes/day of meditation can really help your overall performance at work and more importantly, effect the way you live. It lowers oxygen consumption, it increases blood flow, reduces anxiety, stress, and muscle tension, & can even help in healing by enhancing the immune system (plus so much more!). These are definitely wonderful tips Fit! :)
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
I've never been big on this.
mmmmmm mmmmmm 10 years
I would also recommend checking out the zen centers in your area because they are very used to dealing with westerners (it's more popular western countries than in Asia) and it gives you a good calm place to meditate and a time to meditate (just like how being in a class makes you actually work out)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
I don't stress easily, but I have felt pressure from different corners of my life lately. I was never big on meditation, but I have been motivated to want to try it recently. I think I will; it could only help.
sailing-chick sailing-chick 10 years
Thank you so much - this is great!!
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