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4. Don’t Forget to Breathe
If you have ever taken a yoga or meditation class, you already know that the first thing they tell you to do is focus on your breathing. There is a reason for this. It’s something every living thing does, without thinking about, day after day. Suddenly, giving attention to your breath is a powerful way to relax both body and mind. Start off with three cycles of breathing. Breath in through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 3, then release your breath through your mouth for a count of 4. Repeat at least 6 times and try to think about nothing else but counting out your breaths. You will be very surprised at how quickly you have become calm and serene.
5. Gratitude Counts
Too many of us inundate our minds with negative thoughts, reveling in the reasons why people should feel sorry for us and all the ways in which we fall short every day, (or how life falls short). When was the last time you counted your blessings? Although this might not be enough to completely quiet your mind, it will shut off that negative incoming tide that often runs on endlessly. Sit down with a pen and paper, and start jotting down every single thing in your life that you are grateful for. No judgements here. No one will read this but you, so start off with things that come easily, such as family and friends, then you might want to move on to your cat, your car, your favorite coffee mug, whatever. Keep in mind all the simple things you have that most people would be grateful for such as your home, your bed, your shoes and your clothes. Although this might not clear all thoughts from your head, it can certainly make your current problems seem much smaller than before.
6. Forget Labels
Do you admire someone who appears to be able to calm their minds and meditate almost at will? You might have labeled this person a “guru” and yourself a “dufus” but labels like this don’t help. Simply because you tried meditating a few times and ended up thinking about your next conference call does not mean you are a complete “dufus” who will never learn how to meditate. Don’t think of yourself as incapable, simply think of yourself as a student.
READ ALSO: Why You Should Meditate Video
Like everything else in this world, meditation is something that must be practiced so that it can be perfected. Experts say that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, so why not make a commitment to the next 30 days to practice something that has so many benefits?
Don’t give up! With a little practice, you can have the peace of mind, happiness, and increased feelings of compassion that meditation brings.