In an increasingly busy world, the ability to focus is crucial to your success. The fast-paced stress of daily life can challenge one to maintain attention when needed most. How do you tap into your mind’s ability to dial in during a busy workday when pressed for time? If you have 30-seconds, a quick meditation could be the key.
Too often, we think of meditation as sitting quietly in a designated space for 20–40 minutes. Successful meditation can be brief and it can be tailored to resonate specifically with your situation. 30 seconds to 5 minutes can help calm your mind, enhance your focus and cognition and improve your overall sense of well-being. There is a wide collection of techniques from which to choose; anything from a chocolate meditation to a music mediation. All you need to do is choose one and give it a shot.
Set Aside Time
This doesn’t mean it is necessary to schedule this into your day, although you certainly could! When you find yourself with a few spare minutes, set a timer and turn down the volume in your outside and inner worlds.
Setting a timer allows you to relax and focus on your meditation without worrying you will take more time than you have.
You can even try using a Healing Music App as your timer.
Being comfortable significantly impacts your ability to relax and let go of stress. Make sure your body temperature is comfortable and you are positioned in a way that feels good to you. There is no ‘correct’ way to position yourself when you meditate; experiment and decide what works well. For someone who chooses an active meditation, such as a walking meditation, choose a pace that works for you. It can be fast or slow.
Being conscious of your breathing is an important component of meditation. Deep breathing helps relieve tension and turns on your body’s ‘rest-and-restore’ system. It will also help slow your heart rate and reduce blood pressure. If you are attempting an active meditation, try synchronizing your breathing with your footsteps.
Focusing on your breathing can be one of the easiest forms of meditation. Take a few seconds to try this simple 5-step meditation technique.
1. Find a comfortable position
2. Close your eyes
3. Take natural even breaths
4. Breathe in counting to 3, pause, breathe out counting back to 1
5. Continue to breathe and work your way up to the count of 10
If you are interested in trying out some other ‘mini-meditations’, check out this list of 12 meditations that are 30 seconds or less!
The benefits of meditation can be immediate even for a beginner. If you find yourself “thinking too much” while meditating, don’t feel discouraged. This is natural for a beginner; just redirect your attention to the present. As you incorporate meditation into your daily schedule you will find it easier to quiet your mind and shut out distractions. As with most things in life, practice is key and will improve the quality of your meditation time.
Meditation can feel intimidating when you are a beginner. Knowing how to employ short, simple meditations, while still enjoying the benefits of a calmer more focused mind, can help you get past initial doubts. Try out a quick meditation technique on a day when you feel like your focus could use a boost. The resulting quieter, more focused mind will make you wonder why you didn’t try meditation sooner!
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Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City, serving high-net-worth individuals. She is also the chief investment officer and founder of LexION Alpha.