Yes, we know that there's been much written about the benefits of meditation, and even more written about 'How To' meditate.
To add to the conversation and to keep it simple, we want to share with you 3 easy steps toward a powerful, easy to remember process that will inform your practice, whether you're a beginner or already have a deeper practice.
Ready? Of course you are!
Find a comfortable, quiet place where you won't be distracted and where you can't hear the ringing, beeps and buzzes of your phone. Sit up with a straight spine and close your eyes (after reading the rest of this post, of course!)
1- Breathe in and out through your nostrils, with your exhalations being deeper and longer than your inhalations. (It has been noted that shorter exhales make us vulnerable to depression and anxiety, allow toxins to accumulate and create imbalance in the autonomic nervous system.
Try to make your exhalations twice as long as your inhalations. Exhaling deeply also allows you to empty out any old, stale air from your lungs and to relax fully. While continuing this practice of deep, mindful breaths, add the next step...
2- Smile! The benefits of smiling have been well documented, including acting as a natural pain reliever, having a longer life span, building stronger immunity, better relationships and being viewed by others as more attractive. And it just FEELS GOOD!
See if you can maintain a joy-full, energetic smile for the remainder of the meditation session, while also practicing step 1 above.
3 - Thank you. The third and final step is to think or simply be aware of the phrase 'Thank You' during your meditation.
Bring this to your mind over and over, almost as it a wave of gratitude were washing over you. Use 'thank you' as a mantra for several minutes, coupled with your joy-full smile and focused breath. With time and practice, your 'thank yous' might include an image of a person, situation, experience or feeling that you're grateful in that moment.
Science has shown us that the benefits of being grateful are many: improved physical, psychological, + emotional health, heightened self esteem, a reduction in toxic emotions including envy, regret, resentment and frustration, increased mental strength, and resilience to traumatic events.
That's it! Pretty easy, yes?
Imagine creating time in your daily routine for 10 minutes of mindful breathing, smiling and being grateful! What would your day look like after starting with this type of practice? Pretty joy-full, empowered and energized, yes?
And please NOTE: with the exception of closing your eyes, the rest of this meditation can be done anywhere, at any time! Try it next time you're feeling harried, frustrated or angry - stop, breath, smile and say thank you, over and over again.
Please go ahead and start practicing these 3 easy steps today, and notice how well it serves you throughout the day! Also, if you want to super charge your morning practice with another powerful process, check out this 60 second game changer to work your willingness muscle.
As always, your comments, questions and feedback are welcome!
With BIG love, Eli and Joseph