Forget the steam room, the double martini, and the 100-dollar massage—if you really want to de-stress after a hard day, take the example of the world's spiritual leaders Deepak Chopra, "Conversations with God" author Donald Walsh, Marianna Williamson, and others whose rallying cry is "Two, four, six, eight, want to relax—then meditate!"
Well, maybe they wouldn't put it exactly that way, but meditation during times of heavy stress, crises, or confusion can bring you inner peace, help you find clarity, and keep your body in tip-top shape.
And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to assume a lotus position or need a lot of time (five minutes will do the trick), and you can do it wherever you are (yes, even on the floor of your office after your boss has thrown his third hissy fit of the day).
As a personal trainer I teach my clients the art of meditation as a simple way of releasing anything they no longer need to carry with them. Take this simple practice and add it to your routine of daily health and well being. Then go and teach this technique to your drama queen of a boss.
Connects your mind, body, and spirit; helps to achieve a healthy inner body; provides stress release that combats ailments such as colds; enhances physical workouts.
Find a place you can be without disturbance for five minutes (close the door to your office, stand by the widow, sit in the bathroom, or take a walk). Start to concentrate on your breathing pattern with emphasis on the inhalation and the exhalation of your breath as it enters your ribcage and diaphragm. Are you inhaling lots of air but exhaling small amounts? If so, try to even out the intake and outtake of breath. Sometimes you'll feel a tinkling in your fingers or feet, or your entire body. Don't be alarmed—it's only your body notifying you of the pureness of the air coming in and going out evenly. Time yourself at first so that you do no less than five minutes (thank goodness for alarms on our cell phones or watches).
Try to do this with consistency even when you're not stressed out, you don't need clarity, or things are sailing along smoothly. Practice makes perfect, and as fitness enthusiasts, we all know that the more you practice an exercise, the more benefit you gain, the more natural it becomes, and the larger the goals you achieve.