Many people imagine meditation as a practice for yogi gurus, crunchy hippie chicks, and and weird lady with the mala beads next door. Meditation can be thought of as simply a time of quiet reflection. Multiple articles in the past few years have quoted successful leaders and CEOs extolling the merits of daily meditation for lowering their stress levels, improving cognitive functioning, creative thinking and productivity, and even improving their physical health (Gregoire, 2013).
Meditation is your time for your reflection. It's a few moments out of your day to either go deep within yourself or, occasionally, get out of your own head. It's relaxing, refreshing, and has no rules. But, if there were to be rules to this no-rules practice, they would be:
- Your thoughts are going to seem wild and uncontrollable when you begin a meditation practice. Even seasoned meditators have this happen from time to time. Just let your thoughts come to you and then let them fade. You may also want to keep a piece of paper and pen nearby. If something really important comes up during your meditation time, write it down and then go right back to your practice.
- Sit or recline, but avoid fully laying down. You're likely to end up asleep if you lay down during your practice.
- Close your eyes completely, or have a half-closed downcast gaze that stays just a few feet in front of you.
- If you have trouble focusing, imagine all of your thoughts, breath, and effort going toward one tiny spot, like right under your nose. You'll spend so much effort on focus that you'll wipe away those other floating thoughts.
- Meditate for 3 minutes, 3 hours, or 3 days. The amount of time doesn't matter. What does matter is that you are consistent in your practice. Take a few minutes each day to be quiet and still. You can even do it at the office!
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