Stop, Breathe & Think

Meditation is not a means to an end, it is both the means and the end.
— J. Krishnamurti

Have you noticed that every year there is a buzz word or phrase that somehow gets adopted by the masses and before you know it, becomes a part of our vernacular like “it is what it is” or “selfie” or “bootylicious” (seriously, it’s in the dictionary).  The term I’ve noticed lately is ‘hacking’ as in how to hack your life, diet, exercise routine, work day, etc.  According to Wikipedia, “life hacking refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life.”

My life hack comes in the form of meditation.  I know it sounds weird that I’m looking for a quick fix in this area since the actual act of meditation requires you to slow down and tune in but, I’ve learned that when I want to commit to something, I need to find what works best for me.  From my yoga training and many books I’ve read on the subject, it was always advised to work up to 20 minutes or more of meditation a day.  With many trials and errors, I realized that a. yoga shouldn’t be stressful and b. I need to do what works best for me. So, despite meditation being an age old tradition, I found my hack in an App.

It’s called Stop, Breathe and Think.  I mean the name alone gets you into the meditation frame of mind. After you create an account and they walk you through the basics, you’re given options for all sorts of meditations based on the way you are feeling: happy, sad, anxious, nervous, etc.  These guided meditations are short and easy to follow.  My favorite is called ‘Body Scan’ where it walks you through bringing awareness to every part of your body.  After 8 minutes, you are completely relaxed and in the zen zone. And the more you meditate, the more you're rewarded with trophies and words of encouragement.  It's your zen cheerleader encouraging you along the way.

I believe that the meditation benefits come with consistency and not with how long you do it.  Brainstorm today on when you can sneak in some time to meditate, maybe in your car before or after work, during your lunch break or as soon as you get home, hiding in your closet. Whatever works best for you, make it happen. Don't worry about if you are doing it right. If you can't sit up that long, then lay down. If your mind wanders, focus on the guide.  Eventually a sense of calm will come over you. Allow yourself to just BE.

Hack your meditation practice today by downloading Stop, Breathe and Think for free in the App store.  If you don't have an iPhone, search for a similar app to help get your started.  Happy Meditating!

P.S. If you have any life hacks that you would like to share, I’m all ears (or eyes)…leave your comments below :)