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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 September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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