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Be able to cope better with a hectic lifestyle

Many of us lead a hectic and busy lifestyle in which we spend most of our time meeting the demands of others. Most people have also heard of the amazing benefits of meditation and many have tried it. However for some people they find it difficult to sit still and quieten the ‘chattering monkeys’ or ‘critical mind’. By spending 5 minutes quiet time a day in the morning you can start to reprogram your mind into a more calm and rested state. This is the simple essence of meditation but doesn’t need to seem as formal as many people imagine.

By giving yourself 5 minutes quiet time before you start your day, you are giving your body positive signals that you are starting to look after yourself. We suggest that you take 5 minutes of ‘me time’ first thing in the morning every day for a month. Often people say to me ‘I’m too busy’, ‘I’ve got to get to work/the kids to school/my husband’s breakfast etc..’…Its amazing how many excuses people make so they don’t have to give themselves even a little time and attention. If your day is busy, set your alarm so you get up 5 minutes earlier. This 5 minutes is the beginning of your new healthy lifestyle. Its time out for you, and is an investment into your health and wellbeing that should not get dropped off the to-do list!

What to do!

Upon waking avoid making yourself a cup of tea or coffee as these contain caffeine and will encourage your chattering monkey. If you like the routine of having a warm drink upon taking make a cup of warm water with fresh lemon. This will help balance the pH of the digestive system and support liver function. Also avoid looking at your phone! Maybe invest in an old fashioned alarm clock to have by your bed so you need no contact with your phone first thing. The aim of this exercise is to create a peaceful and calm mind for 5 minutes.

Find a quiet place to sit or lie down undisturbed.

You may close your eyes or keep them open. If you find it hard to sit without thinking about the day ahead find something to focus on. Maybe a beautiful flower or picture or you could look at your garden or light a candle.

If any thoughts float into your head don’t’ try to resist them, just acknowledge them, mentally and silently say ‘thank you’ and bring your thoughts back to centre or refocus on what you are looking at. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, go with what you feel is most comfortable for you.

Notice what thoughts come up, maybe making a few notes on reflection each morning. This can help to develop any thought patterns and how you can support them moving forward. Slowly over time you can build up this ‘me time’ and develop a daily mindfulness and meditation practice, the best little known defence against 21st century living!