Whenever you feel frenzied, i.e., your mind is restless and disturbed, a centering meditation can help you focus inward, pull together your scattered energies, and allow your mind to become calm.
- Find an object nearby that has four corners—a box, your monitor, or even this page.
- Start at the upper-left-hand corner and inhale for four counts. Breathe in, filling your lungs with air.
- Turn your gaze to the upper-right-hand corner and hold your breath for four counts.
- Move to the lower-right-hand corner. Exhale for four counts.
- Now shift your attention to the lower-left-hand corner. Tell yourself to relax and smile.
Repeat these steps 3 to 5 times, or as often as you like.
You can do this centering exercise practically anywhere without drawing attention to yourself. It can initiate an immediate shift in consciousness, enabling you to bring greater awareness into the world around you and maintain your calm.
According to ancient meditation practices, the breath can link the mind and the body. When the breathing is calm, the mind is calm, and the body is calm.
Deep breathing is an effective way to moderate the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s response to a perceived threat.
Idea for Impact: Breathing exercises need not take much time out of your day. Set aside some time to pay attention to your breathing. Even a few minutes of slow, deep breathing can help you get a grip on your mind, manage your emotions, short-circuit the stress response, and keep your mind focused.