The Good Life: Meditation eases the mind

Tracy Press: Whether you attend church regularly, practice personally from home or have a unique spiritual practice, you can bring a sense of spirit into your daily life through practical spirituality.

It’s a way to stay consciously connected to your spirit and strengthen your mind-body-spirit connections. Even the busiest of us can take two to five minutes to help ourselves.

Look at the suggestions below and pick one to practice each day this week. Then, notice if you feel any different.

• Breathing exercises are easily the most basic and universally practiced way to slow down, relieve stress and bring more oxygen to our body and brain, helping us feel and think better.

Take three to five deep breaths using your diaphragm. Breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to eight; breathe out through your mouth to the count of seven. Your belly should expand and contract rather than your chest. Focus on each breath and turn your attention away from all thoughts that come up. Think “I am breathing in” and “I am breathing out.”

• Another option is to take a break during your day for a walking meditation, focusing all your attention on walking and slowing the movement as much as possible.

Walk in slow motion for three to five minutes. As unrelated thoughts arise (and they always do!), turn your attention back to your body. Consider how your legs move. What do your arms feel like when you walk? Notice the air on your skin. Observe everything about the simple act of walking, and think of nothing else.

By taking time each day to focus on otherwise mundane activities, you can create renewed energy and a more centered feeling through connecting mind to body.

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