Got Calm?

stress relief Jan 30, 2021

Mindfulness has become quite the business buzzword lately, but what is it really, and what's so great about it?

You won't find a lot of lawyers sitting cross-legged and humming "OMMMMMMM" for long stretches of time. Can you even sit cross-legged? I can't. Not like a yogi or like I did as a kid, anyway. All those years of sitting at a desk all day did a job on my hip flexors and I'm working every day to fix that, but I digress ...

I still consider myself a terrible meditator, but over time I have improved a lot, and the proof is in my vastly improved ability to intentionally shift my focus to stick with the task at hand. In my own experience, meditation has given me a depth of inner calm that wasn't there before, while also bringing forth some of my most insightful ideas.

Anyone can do this. YOU can do this! Try it for a week, every day, and see how it goes:

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground and your hands resting on your thighs, or lie down on your back in a relaxed position. The point is for you to feel fully supported and comfortable.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Relax, breathe deep, in and out, and turn your awareness to your breathing.
  4. You may want to repeat a simple mantra (in your thoughts) on the inhale and the exhale. It could be anything. I like to think, "Here" on the inhale and "Now" on the exhale. You could count, say your pet's name, "Om," or your favorite color. It doesn't really matter as long as it is a word that produces peace and calm. 
  5.  As you breathe and repeat your mantra, thoughts may come into your head. This is OK! A lot of people feel like they are failing at meditation because they keep having thoughts while they meditate. When a thought comes, recognize it and bat it away. Bring your attention back to your breath and your mantra.

Don't be surprised if a flood of thoughts come at you when you meditate, especially as you are beginning the practice. It is not unusual to sit there, mindfully breathing, while you think, "I keep forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning!" "Doh! I could have used this word instead of that one in the brief I just wrote." "My nose itches." "Should I be noticing that annoying construction noise or just ignore it?" "Dad's birthday is next week." The most random things will come into your head. It's normal. Think of them like tennis balls, notice them and bat them away.

What is the point of this? Just five or ten minutes of meditation can calm stress. If you are feeling drained, it can make you feel rested and refreshed. It can lower your cortisol (the "fight or flight" hormone) and has proven benefits for focus and for combatting depression and anxiety. It is said that depression happens when people live in the past, while anxiety is caused by focusing too much on the uncertain future. It can exponentially improve your focus and through that, your productivity.

Do you meditate? What is the benefit you see from it?

If you find this information helpful, consider scheduling your free exploratory call now.


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