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How to Meditate: 10 Steps to Meditate Anywhere

How to Meditate: 10 Steps to Meditate Anywhere

Being the new kid in class sucks. It’s made especially difficult when the subject is your inner self and connection to the universe. It seems a lot more complicated than it is. Jack White wasn’t born with a guitar in his hand, nor was Lil Wayne born with an iced grill. Meditation takes practice. With enough effort, any of us can reach a meditative state. Through the experience and wisdom gained through repetition, you can meditate anywhere you are. It’s not that you’ll grow an invisible force field. You’ll just get so efficient at reaching the state that you’ll need less and less time to reach it. You can get a benefit from just closing your eyes for 30 seconds if you make use of that time correctly.

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    1 – Relax

    Anytime you reach an obstacle in your life, relaxation should always be the first step. You need a clear head to ensure you’re exploring all of the available options. It would suck to drive off a cliff just because you were too panicked to hear your GPS or read a map. When your mind is clouded, the overcast blocks out the light of your inner bulb. You limit your possibility of ideas. So relax. Stay calm, and walk it off…

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    2 – Breathe

    You’d think since breathing is the most important and consistent function you’ve performed in your life, it wouldn’t be necessary to be reminded to breathe. The thing is, that’s all meditation really is: a reminder to breathe. By focusing on your breath, you’re forgetting all of your problems and dropping the weight of the world off your shoulders to pay attention to the most important thing going on right now in the present. Your breath — the fact you’re alive to experience anything — is all you need to care about. Just breathe…

    3 – Close Your Eyes

    Sometimes in order to focus on our breath and reset, it’s necessary to close our eyes. There’s less stimuli that way. Obviously, you don’t want to close your eyes in the middle of a freeway or battlefield, but when you’re immobile and in a decently safe place to stand, close your eyes for a minute. Focus on your breath entering and exiting your body. It’s like throwing a blanket over a birdcage to convince a bird to relax and go to sleep. Closing your eyes is a great way to ground and balance yourself.

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      4 – Smile

      Feel your face. You don’t have to touch it with your hand (although that’s perfectly acceptable as well). You can feel the stress in your face, and it shows to people you interact with. By smiling, you’re relaxing your face, your entire body, and the world around you. People are more likely to respond to someone who is smiling. If a person is your perceived cause of stress, then smile at that person… if for no other reason than to piss people off. Making a concerted effort to smile forces you to think happy thoughts. Happy thoughts are literally the basis of positive thinking. It’s something you control, and smiling is the first step to happiness.

      5 – Breathe

      I can’t focus enough on how important it is to just breathe. It’s not just for meditation. Breathing is a life skill. Learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Close your mouth and breathe from below your throat as though you’re taking a huge gulp of air after popping out the water. Only instead of breathing through your mouth, breathe through your nose. Congratulations, mouth-breather, you’ve learned a valuable new skill, courtesy of Lifehack.

      6 – Focus on a Mantra

      Some forms of meditation involve a mantra. How you get a mantra is up to you. Whatever you decide to use, just keep repeating your mantra until you’ve stopped thinking about whatever is troubling you and/or keeping you from enjoying your present surroundings. This can be done with your eyes opened or closed and from anywhere you are in the world. You can even repeat your mantra (silently in your head, muttering, singing, etc.) while walking, driving, or performing any number of tasks.

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        7 – Stop Thinking

        All of the meditation practices you’ve ever heard about are designed to teach you to stop thinking, if even for only a second. It doesn’t sound like much, but that one second break is capable of stopping all those constant nagging thoughts jockeying for position in your consciousness. You may be in debt. Work may be difficult. Friends and family may be acting the fool. Is it happening right now? If it’s not, then don’t think about it. If it is, then these meditative techniques will assist you in finding a solution.

        8 – Picture Yourself Somewhere Else

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        Sometimes in life things get really bad. I mean really bad. I’ve woken up in bathrooms, bars, beds, cars, sidewalks, prisons, and all sorts of unsavory places. Sometimes situations occur in life in which it’s better to put yourself somewhere else. Click your heels and chant, “There’s no place like home.” Pretend you’re on a beach, in a forest, or out in the middle of the ocean — whatever is comfortable to you is where you should be. Your mind is capable of traversing time and space. While living in the present is ideal, it’s okay to daydream for a minute every now and again.

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          9 – Light a Candle

          If you’re able to, light a candle. It doesn’t have to be a huge candle. Even a tea light will suffice. You just want some scents in the air and a dancing flame to focus on. Staring at a candle dance is called candle-gazing and is a very effective form of meditation. It’s like sitting and staring at a camp fire. For one reason or another, fire calms us. The flickering of a flame is useful for many things, but clearing your mind and pulling yourself into the present is definitely one of the top ones.

          10 – Breathe

          At the end of the day, your money, possessions, food, surroundings, family, and everything in your life only exists in your head. Why we’re here doesn’t matter. How we got here doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that we’re here. We’re not going anywhere. If we’re going to be stuck here, we may as well be in control of ourselves. Learn to breathe. It’s the most important skill you’ll ever gain. Nothing else matters. Just breathe…

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          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

          1. Work on the small tasks.

          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

          2. Take a break from your work desk.

          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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          3. Upgrade yourself

          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

          4. Talk to a friend.

          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

          7. Read a book (or blog).

          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

          8. Have a quick nap.

          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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          9. Remember why you are doing this.

          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

          10. Find some competition.

          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

          11. Go exercise.

          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

          12. Take a good break.

          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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