Give Yourself Two Minutes – Meditate Your Way to Calm
I’ll admit it…I’m a Type A personality—some might even say Type AA. I move at top speed, doing the work I love—coaching, writing, hosting, managing – however, while this boundless energy has been a blessing in my multi-tasking life, it has, at times, been the source of undue stress as well.
As a career coach, I have always talked a lot about work/life integration, but, about a year ago, I realized that I needed to be practicing more of what I was preaching. While I was regularly working out, eating right (most of the time), and getting eight hours of sleep, I still had an underlying feeling of unrest.
The Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Challenge…
Last fall, I decided to rise to Oprah and Deepak’s challenge and find out whether I could actually sit still and “go within”. After a year of meditation, I can report that the answer is an unequivocal Yes! And I’m happily hooked on the practice.
Meditation has allowed me to tap into a place of calm that I didn’t know I had. While this is all still a work-in-progress, a few minutes of meditation a day have helped me get a better handle on my stress – both physical and emotional.
All of this is to say that, if I can do it, you most certainly can too. If you haven’t already discovered the stress-reducing power of meditation, I encourage you to at least dip a toe in—even if just for two minutes a day—to experience the benefits.
Here are the five basic elements of meditation to help you on your way:
Time: Deepak Chopra suggests morning and evening as ideal times to meditate because “they coincide with our body’s quieter rhythms”, but adds that really any time is a good time for the practice. I’ve found that even taking a couple of minutes to meditate at my desk, mid-day, can make a powerful difference.
Body Position. Chopra says that it’s important to be comfortable, and that sitting upright is preferable to keep alert.
Thoughts. Meditation is about letting your thoughts come and go without attaching to them. Focusing on your breath, or on a particular word or “mantra”, helps you stay, as Chopra calls it, “in the space between the thoughts”.
If doing this on your own feels intimidating, I recommend listening to guided meditations. I love them since they take you step-by-step through the process.
Breath: When you feel like you’re getting carried away by those monkey chatter thoughts, focusing on the natural rhythm of your breath bring you back to your center and helps keep you in the present moment.
Duration. The effects of meditation are cumulative, according to Chopra. He says it’s better to spend just a few minutes meditating every day rather than meditating for an hour a week. Whether you can commit 30 minutes, 15, or just two minutes a day, a regular practice can add up to feeling more centered and calm.
You can easily access the Oprah/Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience, free-of-charge, at www.chopra.com, or you can try meditating on your own by finding time to sit quietly and follow the rhythm of your breath. Either way, I encourage you to get in touch with the calm within you!