An Easy How To for Meditation in Daily Life
Do you practice daily meditation? Lifestyle experts from Oprah, life coach Gabrielle Bernstein and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra tout the daily physical and mental benefits of mindfulness and meditation. To some readers these buzzwords appear trendy or au courant like the latest hair style, exercise trend or health food craze. But unlike some other short lived fads, these practices have existed for centuries throughout numerous cultures. Daily meditation practices allow participants to make strides in personal growth by bringing awareness to inner voices of doubt, stress and fear while making shifts that bring peace, gratitude and joy to the moments of daily life. JLNO Active Natalie Kaharick, a certified instructor for the Art of Living Foundation, said she relies on “a mix of yoga, breathing techniques and meditation to give me energy to handle life’s ups and downs.”
Meditation can simply mean taking a moment to sense the environment around you. For instance, spend a moment focusing on senses like sight, texture, taste, sound and smell. This simple but powerful action calms the body and brings awareness to the present moment. It’s incredible the different sounds and smells observed during this meditation by just taking a moment to be still. You can perform this style of meditation anywhere and at any time. Christine Clarity Imfeld of Lifestyle Coaching in San Francisco and Katie Chamberlain Kritikos, a blogger on mindbodygreen.com offer these tips to incorporating meditation into daily life.
• Select a convenient time, it can be a longer block or a small increment. Simple, two-minute meditations while waiting in the car during carpool, before you get out of bed or before you hop in the shower can provide benefits.
• Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably with correct posture.
• Take a few moments to focus and concentrate on breathing. If your thoughts wander, simply return back to your breath.
• If meditation does not come easily, use guided meditations. Free resources for a variety of meditations can be found on youtube and downloaded from podcasts.
• Scan your body and pay attention to how it feels. Start with your head and work your way down. Try counting backward from 100.
• Create a personal manifesto or mantra such as, “I live in a loving and abundant world. I am grateful.” Repeat this internally and your mind will center.
Whether your motivation is to manage stress, increase happiness, personal growth or even to become more successful in your career, applying these simple but consistent practices to daily life may lead you to realize that anything is possible.
“I know that sounds a bit cliché, but it really works,” Natalie said. “I feel very lucky that I learned these practices when I was in college and that I’ve stuck with them for 13+ years.” She also suggested to “make time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes, to do something that you love that brings you joy and allows you to connect to your inner self.”
JLNO members can find more information about meditating and events with Natalie through MeetUp.com/Nola-Meditators.
Natalie Kaharick, a certified instructor for the Art of Living Foundation.
Photo provided by: Natalie Kaharick