In this crazy world we live in, it is easy to get caught up in the negative turbulence around us. With today’s rate of unemployment, mortgages, world disasters and predictions, we can easily get caught up in the stresses and worries of life. No matter how chaotic things seem, I know of a “life raft of peace” that we can retreat to whenever we desire.

Below is an overview of 5 techniques I use daily to reduce stress and go within:

1. This is an easy mini-meditation when you’ve had enough and you need to reconnect and re-energize.

  • Stop what you are doing. If possible, go outside.
  • Inhale to the count of 8. Take a deep breath and while counting to 8, breathe in new energy. Remember to focus on your breath.
  • Hold to the count of 8, seeing the breath absorb all of your stress, toxins and tension.
  • Exhale to the count of 8, releasing all tension and toxins from your body.
  • Do this 6 or 7 times. Stop and notice the beauty around you. Even if you live in the city, a potted plant is all it takes to enjoy the miracle of nature. Feel cleansed and be in the presence of life in this moment.

2. Daily outside activity can be another form of meditation.
Gardening or connecting with a child or animal can take you into the beauty and enchantment of the present moment. A simple walk alone can be transforming. Slow down and be with the trees, the grass, and the flowers. Feel the sun or the wind on your skin. My husband’s favorite way of doing this is taking a regular surf in the sea by our home. Imagine the connection with nature when he drops into the “tube” or the spinning vortex of salt water and negative ions! Swell or no swell, he always comes back a different person.

3. Find time throughout your day for meditative moments.
Be awake to those activities that allow you to be conscious and in present time. Sitting in traffic, standing in a queue, waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for anything. These are good times to be consciously present. I like to take a few deep, mindful breaths and go within. Engage your senses. Drop into your body and feel your emotions. What are you grateful for in this moment? Be in the “now”.

4. Create a sacred space or alter.
Make it yours by adding things that feel good to you. You can use a candle, incense, pictures, flowers, or pieces of nature like stones, shells or feathers. Or not. Again, this is your space. Keep it fresh. The most important thing is that it feels good and that you commit to taking time every day to visit your space. While there you might want to say a prayer, read an inspirational page from a book or just be present in silence.

5. Developing a regular practice of sitting meditation can help you stay grounded in your “true Self.”
Having a regular meditation time, place and practice is a powerful technique for staying detached from the daily turbulence of life and connected to your inner peace. There are many types of meditation, but the most basic is a breathing meditation. You begin watching your breath and with practice, you eventually become the breath. This form of meditation takes the most commitment and discipline, but the rewards are the most beneficial and lasting. With this form of meditation, you can actually become a different person. I like to end my meditation with a prayer for peace for all humanity. It’s nice to share some of that inner love and radiate it out into the world. After your meditation, don’t rush back into your activity. Try to carry your peaceful connection into everything you do. Like anything worthwhile, meditation takes commitment and practice. A regular practice is more important than the duration of the practice. Even 5-10 minutes a day will make a difference. The more you meditate, the more you will want to meditate. After a while you begin to wonder why you never did it before!

Keep these practices handy and use them often. Your mind will try to tell you these practices are not as important as pushing forward and being busy. Yet remember, balance is key. If you want to be most productive, it’s important to know when to stop and recharge.

In fact, why don’t you choose one of the above and try it right now!

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