Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Sorry I was pokey in getting out our next challenge but here it is:
If you meditate for at least 10 minutes a day you will earn the daily challenge points.

Many of us are stress eaters and one way to overcome our life time habits of over eating is to find alternatives to turn to during times of stress. Exercise is a great one and so is meditation.

So how do you meditate?

Simple Meditation in 5 Steps

When times are stressful everyone could stand to take a minute to stop and breathe. During meditation, you harness, calm, and essentially turn off the “thinking” portion of your mind so that you open yourself to a deeper state of relaxation and awareness. With regular practice, you become able to do this anywhere, anytime you feel the need to stop and breathe.

Simple meditation in 5 steps described in this post can help alleviate stress and countless ailments, including lowering high blood pressure, decreasing muscle tension and headaches, enhance the body’s immune system, easing symptoms of arthritis and allergies, and more. For those of us seeking calm from the storm of daily stress, meditation allows you to have greater control over not only your emotions but your reactions to occurrences (if you are quick to anger over small things, for example). With practice, you become more aware of your surroundings and what goes on in your mind, thereby preparing yourself and your body for a calmer, less reactive response.
Anyone can stand to gain from meditation, and better still, anyone can do it.

1. Make time to meditate daily.

As with most things, meditation mastery doesn’t happen overnight. Meditation is a lifelong endeavor and treatment, and its benefits are most noticeable with regular practice. You can meditate at any time of the day. Begin by setting aside 10 minutes for focused meditation.

2. Sit comfortably in a quiet, relaxing environment.

Avoid things that will distract you, like the TV, your cell phone, noisy appliances (like the refrigerator), kids, and the like. I love meditating while wearing my noise canceling headphones. I usually listen to meditations that I find at There are several free ones on this site. Go and download one for your own use. They are wonderful! Stin (who provides the meditations) is a member of the church and I just love her voice. I actually have a membership to the site but it offers several free meditations too. If you don't listen to one of these prepared meditations you might want to play soft, repetitive music that won’t disrupt your concentration. Some people enjoy sitting in a grassy field or forest or even near a stream and letting the sounds of nature help to soothe them.

Make sure the place you are sitting or lying is comfortable. A cushion or yoga mat can help. If sitting you don’t need to cross your legs into the lotus position if this is painful; you only need to sit comfortably with your back straight so as to make it conducive to healthy breathing. You may at first need to concentrate on proper posture; try sitting on a the forward edge of a thick cushion or rolled up towel to tilt your pelvis naturally forward and imagine a thread pulling the top of your head up so your spine is straight. If lying position yourself so that your head is supported and your muscles are all in a position to relax.

Keep your hands and feet relaxed; don’t worry about position. Consider starting out with letting your hands lie on your thighs or hanging at your sides.

3. Relax.

Close your eyes and look for parts of your body that aren’t relaxed, like your neck, the muscles near your forehead or eyes, your knees, hands, spine, etc. Adjust your posture accordingly. Focus on them and imagine your blood running through that part of your body so it warms and relaxes.

4. Focus on your breathing.

With eyes still closed, focusing on your nostrils as you breathe. This sounds silly, but focusing on this single part of your body allows you to focus on how breathing feels and quiet the chattering of your mind. Imagine that with every exhalation, you’re breathing out negative emotions that are causing you pain, stress, and tension. Imagine you’re breathing in relaxing, positive air when inhaling. Preparing for meditation like this is part of the process and you’ll adjust more quickly with practice.

5. Focus on nothing.

Once you’re able to focus on your breathing alone, focus on nothing. Clear the mind by focusing on your breathing and then casting the thought of it from your mind. Enjoy the peace

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