Mindful Awareness
The best and easiest way to handle excess stress in your life is to learn to meditate. A study done by the Transcendental Meditation organization showed people who meditated regularly (one to two times every day) for ten years were physically years younger than other people their same chronological age.

The following meditation technique is extremely successful with everyone taking the time to master it. This is a short, fifteen minute meditative break you can easily incorporate into even the busiest of days.

This simple procedure creates a deep state of relaxation in your mind and body. As your breathing quiets, your mind also quiets, but remains awake. If you fall asleep while doing this activity, you are not getting adequate sleep at night. Change your schedule until you can remain awake and alert while practicing this technique.

Making an audio tape of these instructions in your own voice, and using it during your first several practices, very quickly improves your success. Using some quiet music in the background while making your tape is another very helpful addition. The numbers in parentheses below are about how long to pause between instructions on your tape.

  • Close your eyes. (30 seconds)
  • Gently, allow your awareness to be on your breathing. Just observe your breath as you breathe in and out. (30 seconds)
  • Innocently be aware of your breathing. Do not try to alter it in any conscious way. (1 minute)
  • As you observe your breath, you may notice it changes. It may speed up or slow down. It may get deeper or more shallow. It may seem to stop for a time. Whatever happens with your breathing, just observe it, without anticipating or resisting any changes. (1 minute)
  • At times, your attention may drift away from your breath and go to a thought in your mind, some sensation in your body, or a sound. Whenever you notice you are not observing your breath, gently bring your attention back to your breathing. (1 minute)
  • Give up any expectations you may have. When you notice you are focusing on some expectation, treat this as you would any other thought and gently bring your awareness back to your breath. (silence for at least 10 more minutes)
  • Take about 1 minute to slowly open your eyes.
Practice this technique, SITTING, for at least 15 minutes, twice a day, in the morning and in the late afternoon. You may also do this for a few minutes during the day, if you are feeling upset, tense or agitated. It will help you to relax and regain control.
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