PRACTICE MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS.

Research has linked meditation and mindfulness with reduced anxiety and more positive emotions. Those who meditate regularly may even permanently restructure their brains to create sustained happiness.

 

Try this short practice meditation:

 

1. Sit in a comfortable position, upright but relaxed.

 

2. It usually helps to close your eyes.

 

3. Just notice the feeling of the weight of your body on the chair or floor.

4. Pay attention to your breathing...in breath...out breath. Do this for 15 or 20 breaths.

 

5. Notice any sounds around you.

 

6. Return to your breath and notice it once again.

 

7. Open your eyes and return to what you are doing.

Practice any or all of these mindfulness skills:

If you are temporarily in the High Zone or the Low Zone...

1. Drink a glass of water.

2. Count backwards from 20.

3. Listen to the sounds around you.

4. Name six colors you see.

5. Push against a wall.

6. Notice details of your surroundings.

7. Touch the furniture.

8. Touch something in nature...a flower or a tree.

9. Just pay attention to your breathing for a few minutes.

Mindful breathing— or paying focused attention to your breath — can be a powerful way to return to "rest and digest" and calm.  The exhale is one of the most important aspects of mindful breathing.  Exhaling longer than you inhale promotes the rest and digest response. 

There are two really good meditation apps available at the App Store. One is Headspace and the other is Calm. Their meditations are longer but really enjoyable. There is a price for the subscription to their services.

For easy to follow free meditations, go to the UCLA Meditations page.

 

Watch the mindfulness and meditation videos starting with "Mindfulness" below.

You don't have to meditate for a long period of time each day in order to increase your inner peace and happiness. Just a few minutes will work.