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“The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness. But if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions.” —Kelsang Gyatso

 

One of the dangers of an anxious mind is the belief that “life just happens to me.” It can be easy to think that, what with all the unwelcome physical signs of stress that anxiety can bring: increased heart rate, tightening in the chest, difficulty breathing, feeling as though you’re about to have a panic attack, or worse, the fear you might be dying.

 

The good news is there’s always options in life. No matter who you are or where you’ve been, you and I have one choice each and every day: Practice peace or practice stress.

 

I’m guessing you’re here for the peace. And good for you because as chaotic as your situation may be right now, you have more power than you think. And thinking is the name of the game, my friends. The following short meditation can be practiced anytime, anywhere as a reminder that you are capable of calm. The first step is recognizing when your body’s stress signals communicate that it’s time to take a brain break…

 

Stop, Breathe Think: A Meditation to Calm an Anxious Mind (Mp3)

 

 If you’re at work and forgot your earbuds 😉 , here’s a cheat sheet:

 

1. Stop. This step has different iterations, depending on what you’re struggling with. ‘Stop’ can be a verbal clue to get yourself out of worry mode; it can be a mantra, “Stop believing you’re not good enough;” or a gentle reminder to focus on emotional regulation, etc. You’re the expert on your life, so choose what ‘stop’ means to you.

 

2. Breathe. Self-explanatory, and there’s many ways to practice deep-breathing. Here’s a few calming exercises for your mental wellness toolkit.

 

3. Think. My amazing clinical supervisor used to say “most people don’t like to think. They don’t want to know why they think the way they do, or why they see the world as they do. And that’s the problem: you must be curious about your thought process.” And that lesson was a gamechanger in my role as a therapist. Here is an in-depth article about how to change your thinking using the principles of Coginitive-Behavioral Therapy.

 

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Thank you for being here.

 

Yours in practicing intentional calm daily,
—Linda Esposito

 

 

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