There’s no question that meditation is good for us. t helps us handle the stress of daily life, it has numerous health benefits, and it is a wonderful way to get in touch with our true spiritual nature. In fact, there is so much evidence that meditation is good for you that meditation should be as much a part of our daily lives as breathing.
And yet, many of us find excuses to not establish a daily meditation practice. “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t know how.” “I can’t sit still.” But you don’t have to meditate for hours to gain benefits from meditation. While 20 minute is ideal, even a 5 minute mini meditation can make a difference. In fact, even just taking a mindful pause can let you experience some of the benefits of meditation.
What is a mindful pause?
The mindful pause is a quick exercise that will help you calm down anytime you feel stressed, anxious, rushed or overwhelmed. And once you get in the habit of doing it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
4 simple steps to a calmer you
The mindful pause is easy. Try it in the quiet of your home first so you can become familiar with the steps. Once you have the steps down, you can use it in any stressful situation, no matter where you are.
- Take a deep breath. Breathe in deeply and slowly by filling your abdomen first and then your lungs. By slowing down your breathing, you will engage the body’s natural relaxation response.
- Pay attention to your body. Let yourself notice any sensations. Whatever comes up is okay. You may feel warmth, coolness, tingling, or itching. You may feel the pressure of your body against your chair, or the sensation of your clothing against your skin. Don’t label anything you sense as “good” or “bad.” Just let it be what it is.
- Pay attention to your breath. If your mind starts to engage or wander, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
- Open your awareness back to your surroundings, and get on with your life.
Try not to jump right back into hyperactivity after doing the mindful pause exercise .See if you can take the feeling of calmness into the next activity on your agenda.
I think cats have that mindful pause thing down pat. Have you ever watched a cat stop in mid-activity and start to groom herself? Grooming is a self-soothing behavior that calms and comforts the cat. Perhaps, this is a cat’s way of taking a mindful pause?