relaxation

4 Easy Mindfulness Practices To Help You Through The Day

By Leo Babauta

In the middle of the chaos of the world right now, what can we do to take care of ourselves?

Let’s talk about a handful of simple mindfulness practices that can be helpful.

  1. Breathe deeply into the belly. This is one to start with, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. We get caught up in our heads, stuck in a cycle of thoughts that are rarely very helpful. So to get out of our heads and into our bodies, we can do deep breathes, into the deepest part of our bellies. Do several breaths like this, maybe for 30-60 seconds if you have time. This not only calms you down, but helps you to be more present with your body and surroundings.
  2. Check on your feelings, give yourself compassion. Turn your attention to the sensations in your body, and notice how uncertainty and fear/anxiety might feel for you right now, as a bodily experience. This, again, helps get you out of your thoughts, but also it’s important to notice how you’re feeling. Practice giving these feelings some space, letting them be (it’s OK to feel anxiety!). Then see if you can give them some compassion, to take care of yourself when you’re feeling uncertainty or frustration.
  3. Find calm in the middle of a storm. When the world is full of chaos, can we find calm? Find your breath. Let the swirl of thoughts calm down. Notice the light around you, notice sound. Notice the beauty of the moment. Widen your awareness beyond yourself, and feel the peace of a moment of stillness. You can still take action, but from a place of calmness.
  4. Send compassion out to others. Once you’ve practiced compassion for your own uncertainty and fears … once you’ve found a moment of calm and centeredness … you can open your heart to others right now. They’re afraid, they’re feeling anxious. Open your awareness beyond your home, to the others in your neighborhood and city, to others around the world, to your loved ones and strangers. Feel the worry they’re feeling. Send them compassion, from the deepest place in your heart. Let it flow out as a healing salve to everyone. Notice how this feels. Notice how it might change how you interact with others.

Let these practices help you through this troubled time, my friends.

6 Videos for Relaxation and Renewal in Under Five Minutes

I often feel the need to get away, and watching short videos sometimes is just the cure I need for writers block or the doldrums. When faced with a problem that I can’t solve, I need to take a step back, regroup, destress, and relax a bit.  Under deadline, it is not possible to take long breaks or often even leave the office, so I have found new ways to de-stress and relax, put myself in another place for a few minutes.  Videos are a great way to do this, I have a few favorites for relaxation that give me just the little break I need to recharge and get going again. In under five minutes, you can escape into another world with these videos. 

A five minute break is not much, but it will feel like a lot more if you truly enjoy it. These short videos will give you a lovely mini break, and may just help you get that extra bit of umph you need to go on working.  Take a five minute vacation in Hawaii, journey to Havasu, swim with the dolphins, get back to nature with a simple click on your computer screen.

Swim with the dolphins for a few minutes.

There is often nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of an aquarium, here is your private 3D aquarium and just over four minutes of watching tropical fish. A Fish Lover’s Mini-Paradise Beautiful piano music, a wonderful scene, this video will transport you and make you smile. 

Uplifting, motivating, beautiful and joyful–five minutes in the woods. A great five minutes for bird lovers, listen to their songs and learn a bit about the birds that are singing them through the photos and descriptions, a very nice way to enjoy a few minutes in nature, so to speak.

For all you early birds! Take a short trip to Havasu and sit by one of the Havasupai waterfalls, accompanied by some introspective music, and the fantasy of a day in the canyons of Arizona.

If you prefer something more isoteric or want to take a short nap, try this geometric shapes meditation video.

Always a classic, listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine” on pan flute and enjoy some lovely nature scenes, it always works to inspire me.

Sometimes a five minute break is all you need to bring you a bit of peace to get you through the rest of the day.  Relax, enjoy, and let us know if you have any favorite videos or music to share for relaxation and rejuvenation.

10 Mini-Breaks to Refresh and Renew Your Work Day – Easy Workday Mini-Breaks

I have started using mini-breaks on a daily basis to avoid burn-out.  The idea of mini-breaks is not new, but I have a tendency to get caught up in writing or working on projects, so much so that sometimes I go for hours without leaving my computer.  You know the feeling, you are on deadline, you have a project that needs to get done, you are on a roll. Time flies, and before you know it, your foot is asleep, your back aches, your coffee is cold, and your butt is numb.  Mini-breaks are the answer.  If you work at home, as I do, it is easy to create tiny mini-breaks that are not only good for your mind, but good for your body. …

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