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How to Practice a Quick and Effective Meditation

Danielle McKee
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When you get a break in your busy day – whether it be a break from being a stay-home mom or dad, a lunch break at work or even a commercial break – use that time wisely and take a meditation break! Even when we are doing nothing, the wheels tend to keep turning in our minds and every once in a while it is good – if not absolutely essential to our wellbeing – to take a time out.
 
Here are 6 steps to enjoy a simple yet effective meditation:
 

1. Find a quiet place.

If your kids are sleeping, sneak onto your porch outside. If you’re at your office, close your office door, go sit in your car, or simply close your eyes wherever you are.
 

2. Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your heart.

Begin by taking deep, full breaths and feeling your stomach and heart rise in sync with your breath. Find a rhythm.
 

3. Check in.

Notice how you’re feeling in this moment. How do you feel in your body and mind? Are you happy, feeling sad, overwhelmed, stressed out? Whatever it may be – notice it and feel it. Sit with how you are feeling – don’t judge – simply notice and accept.

Tell yourself: “It’s okay. This too shall pass.”
 

4. Embrace the distractions.

While I hope you were able to find a “quiet” place, I’m sure it isn’t exactly silent. That’s okay! These noises can actually make your meditation even better. Listen to the noises around you, notice what is going on, but then bring your attention back to your breath and back to the movement of your chest and stomach falling and rising. These noises or distractions are a good thing – they are an opportunity to practice bringing your attention back to what you are doing presently.
 

 

5. Pick a word . . .

. . . any word you’d like to think about and focus on. Love, peace, calm, happy, prosperity . . . anything you want. Focus on that word and with each exhale, allow yourself to experience the feeling of that word. If it’s “happy,” exhale and experience what it feels like to be happy. If it’s “calm,” exhale and experience what it feels like to be calm. You can do this with anything – you just have to be willing to use your imagination and let your body follow with the feelings.
 

6. Enjoy the process and do it often.

The great thing about meditation is that there are NO rules – you can meditate however you like, whenever you like, on whatever word or feeling you like. However you do it, let it be a time to calm your mind and be aware of how you are feeling. And just remember – it’s okay to get distracted, it’s okay to lose focus. When you notice your mind slipping off in a different direction simply bring your attention back to your breath.
 
 
I encourage you to take this short break to add some calm to your day. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be timed, and you can do it any way you like. You will find that this takes no effort at all and it does wonders in the midst of a hectic day. You will be surprised to see what a difference this simple pause can make in your day and your overall mood.
 

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Danielle McKee

Danielle is a Northern California girl from the Sacramento area. She works at a Legislative Advocacy firm, enjoys yoga, meditation, writing, drinking wine and cooking for the ones she loves. Her yoga ventures have taught her to live more mindfully on and off her mat.

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