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Become More Mindful With ‘Micro Meditations’

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We live in a culture where it's common to have entire conversations with people while looking at a tiny screen and planning the rest of our day in the back of our minds. Heck, it's barely even considered rude anymore. No wonder, then, that many of us find it hard to slow down long enough to build a mediation practice, no matter how many articles we read about its benefits for our productivity and career satisfaction.

We live in a culture where it’s common to have entire conversations with people while looking at a tiny screen and planning the rest of our day in the back of our minds. Heck, it’s barely even considered rude anymore. No wonder, then, that many of us find it hard to slow down long enough to build a mediation practice, no matter how many articles we read about its benefits for our productivity and career satisfaction.

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(Photo Credit: Paul E. Harrer via Unsplash)

The answer, suggests Maria Gonzalez at HBR Blog Network, might be “micro meditations”:

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“These are meditations that can be done several times a day for 1-3 minutes at a time,” she writes. “Periodically throughout the day, become aware of your breath. It could be when you feel yourself beginning to become stressed or overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time, or perhaps when you feel yourself becoming increasingly distracted and agitated.”

Next, she says, we should notice whether our breathing is shallow or deep, and pay attention to our body posture. Do we hunch our shoulders, or stick out our bellies? Do we hold our breath?

Finally, try to bring the breath into the belly — or as low down in the chest as you can without feeling forced. The goal is to bring our mind back to focusing on the breath, even when it wanders. And it will wander. See previous re: our culture’s love of perpetual multitasking and sneakily gazing at screens.

If you do this a few times a day, you can replace the habit of always living one step ahead with a new one: mindfulness. This will in turn help with everything from paying attention during that next presentation to managing stress better when you’re facing a deadline.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you meditate? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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Dike Drummond MD
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I teach mindfulness to doctors. It is important to note meditation is only one way to practice mindfulness. Most people believe meditation IS mindfulness. It is just a path to that end.

You can become much more mindful in a single breath when it is done with intention. This is exactly what I teach the hyper busy doctor’s who are my coaching clients. You can learn more about this “Squeegee Breath” technique at my website. TheHappyMD(dot)com

Dike
Dike Drummond MD
TheHappyMD(dot)com

Chelsea
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Chelsea

These are great tips! When I was first introduced to meditation, I was pretty intimidated by the prospect of sitting still for an extended period of time and being able to “stop thinking”. But my friend recommended the meditationSHIFT course and I started reading their blog, which quickly dispelled a lot of my misconceptions and preconceived notions. Plus, it starts you off with just a few 3-minute sessions (like this article suggests) and gradually increases the time of the sessions until you reach two 20-min sessions per day, which is a lot more manageable than I thought it would be.… Read more »

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