Meditation, Anyone?

Meditation can be a terrific way to put the brakes on a stress-spiraling day. Take a few minutes to let your muscles relax and your mind clear–it can make an enormous difference in your writing. Here are six good techniques for creating that meditative state:

1. Create a space.

Have a place that you can go where you will not be interrupted. It doesn’t have to be a huge area, just somewhere that you can relax. Put some things in this space that help you to be calm, such as candles, incense or even just a picture that takes you somewhere beautiful. A few soft pillows and a comfy throw and you are all set!

2. Create the environment.

Unplugging the phone is a very important step. Lock the door if you can. Talk to those who live with you and let them know that they should not interrupt you when you close the door or go to that area of the house. Dim the lights or turn them off completely. Play something soothing on the stereo. Slip into some loose, comfortable clothing.

3. Begin to unwind.

Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths from your stomach. Scan your body to see where you are holding tension and concentrate on relaxing those areas. It is good to take a few moments to transition into your relaxing space.

4. Start the relaxation.

Visualize a place that you enjoy. It can be somewhere you have been, somewhere you have seen or somewhere you imagine. Try to use all of your senses to get a good picture of the place. Many people like to imagine the ocean or some other type of relaxing natural scene. Smell and taste the air. Listen to the sounds. Feel the sand between your toes.

5. Clear your mind.

It can be harder to relax your mind than to relax your body. Don’t let thoughts of working on articles or getting errands done pull you out of your relaxation. If a thought comes in, just let it float right back out again. Some people like to focus on a simple word or phrase that they repeat–it helps them to shut out other thoughts.

6. Come back slowly.

When you are ready to move out of the meditation, do so gradually. A few deep breaths. Slowly open your eyes. Stretch a little. Don’t rush yourself–after all–you don’t want the stress to come right back at you, Don’t feel like you have to get up right away. Take a few minutes to enjoy the feeling of being relaxed.

Utilizing these six steps can help you de-stress and take a much needed break during the day. Set aside the time–make it a priority–you are worth it!