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  • Writer's pictureBecky McGuire

Focus your stress away... Meditate

That moment when you thought everything was going to be easy peasy, lemon squeezy; and it was actually difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

The moments we are living today are more difficult than many of us could have imagined. Uncertainty surrounds our answers to questions that nudges our minds. Information is being thrown at us from many directions, recommendations are being made and advise is continuously handed out like Kleenex. Sorting through all of this and trying to juggle what is left of our normal lives can cause our minds to go into a sort of autopilot. Attempting to do numerous things at one time can mean those things are not done effectively or efficiently, likely causing a domino fall effect on other tasks.

Meditation is the journey from sound to silence, from movement to stillness, from limited identity to unlimited space- Sri Ravi Shankar

Through meditation we lower stress levels, connect with ourselves and improve focus. One definition described on describes meditation as “simply learning to pay attention to our breathing, the in and out motion of our breath, identifying when our mind wanders and being able to bring it back to focus in the present moment”. Meditation provides a needed space in our lives for self-care. Although it is not a magical wand that clears the mind of interruption, it does bring awareness when our attention begins to slip away and builds focus to guide it back.

There are several apps for your phone or computer and books available that explain various types of meditation and breathing exercises. A basic 2-minute session is a great place to start.

  1. Begin in a quiet and comfortable spot. This does not have to be anything formal and there isn’t a dress code. You can take a few quiet moments at your desk or parked car during breaks, any time of day is fine. You can keep your eyes open or shut, whatever helps you focus.

  2. Inhale deeply, expanding your chest and hold for a moment. Exhale gently, with no force through relaxed lips. It is not important how fast these breaths are, whatever is most comfortable for you. Simply focus on the inhale and exhale of your own breath.

When you notice your focus wander, and it will, bring it back to your breathing. Forgive the wander and focus back on how your breathing feels. Our minds often create little narratives that we didn’t intend, especially when sitting still for more than a moment feels inappropriate and non-productive.

When in a state of autopilot our minds skip and bounce from one thought to the next. Meditation can help us recognize when our minds begin to bounce around and give us a way to pause, refocus and re-balance.

Together we will get through this... Just Breathe

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