This year I can’t seem to take on a whole New Year Resolution and think we would all be better by embracing a New Year Habit. I firmly believe that small changes in habits can lead to major life changes. For instance, losing weight is all about making one small change each week and sticking with it.
For meditation, you only need two minutes. Two minutes! Start simple and stick with it.
Sit down and notice your breathing. Your breath comes in. Take as much breath as you can make it deep. Then pause and slowly exhale noticing when all the breath is gone. Repeat. If your mind wanders, reel it back in. Back to the breath.
Research backs up the benefits, as Harvard-trained happiness researcher Shawn Achor states:
“Here’s what we found: For two minutes, watching their breath go in and out — literally two minutes — it gave their brain a new pattern,” he says. “[It went from] multitasking to single-task… Their happiness levels improved, their stress dropped and, amazingly, the stress of the people around them dropped as well. It starts to cause this chain reaction.”
You will be happier. Whenever you are aware of stress, or find your brain sending bad thoughts, just stop and breathe in this manner. In the car, at your desk, at the stove, during a walk, or in a long line. Make it a habit!