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I took a deep breath

and listened

to the old bray of my heart:
 
I am, I am, I am.

Copyright: Sergey Klimenko

 Sylvia Plath

Just Breathe: Meditation made simple

I like to think of meditating as a way to control the constant flow of ideas and thoughts that rush through our minds every moment of every day. Using very simple techniques, meditation can reduce physical stress in the body and create a peaceful calm in the mind. 

First begin by trying to clear your mind. Focusing on your breathing pattern is often the best place to start. 

Find a quiet, comfortable place. Lying down may make relaxing easier as you learn to meditate.

Take long, slow breaths. Listen to the sound of the air coming in and out. 
As you inhale, push your abdomen out and then expand your chest as it fills with air.

Try to think of nothing but the act of breathing. When your mind wanders, and it will, gently return your focus on the breaths. 

Now it's time to let go of the physical tension. Progressive muscle relaxation is a good way to learn to recognize tight muscles.

Each time you inhale, tighten one part of your body as much as you can.

As you exhale, relax that part of the body.
Feel that part of the body as dead weight, sinking into the bed.

Start with your toes and feet, then your legs, then your abdomen, then hands, then arms, then shoulders, then neck, and finally face.

Finally, take five deep breaths, each time imagining yourself sinking further into the bed. Be still and enjoy this relaxation. Try not to let thoughts drift back into your mind just yet. The entire experience should take five to ten minutes. Don't pressure yourself to continue for longer than you're comfortable at first. 

Throughout the day, when you feel your muscles tightening from stress, take ten deep breaths (count backwards from ten with each exhalation). Remember the peaceful feeling that meditating brought to your mind and body earlier in the day. 

Make time to meditate once a day to experience deeper and more complete relaxation and calm.
Breathe in....Breathe out....

 

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