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Mindfulness is about paying attention in a particular way. A way that is on purpose, in a nonjudgemental way, and being in the present moment. It is about turning inward and centering yourself. It may be difficult for some people to put down the juggling balls of the everyday hustle and bustle, but the effects will be rewarding. We have to train our minds to stop analyzing and learn to turn inward, and just be calm and serene. This is embracing the beauty of mono-tasking. A great way of relaxing deep within and starting a meditative practice is simply focusing on your breath. It is amazing that through breath you can influence the involuntary nervous system. By simply learning how to slow down your breath you can significantly reduce the body's stress response. The perks of mindfulness are tangible. It doesn't just boost our mood, attitude and perception- the effects go even deeper. People who meditate regularly have different neural patterns in the brain, leading to more efficient learning and attention-paying. Living in quite a competitive, uptight, frantic culture, we must make time to recover, and ground ourselves. This will ensure you maintain a healthy body, lower levels of stress, and be in an optimal space for performance, whether that is at work, home, or within a sport. Try paying more attention in the activities you are doing, even if it is doing the dishes. Mindfulness takes practice. If you are present, then connect with that experience fully. Your awareness will grow, and each moment will become richer.

Practice sitting for a few moments, focus on each breath, eliminating your distractions. Count down from 10 to 1 either out loud or in your mind. Only focus on the number, see the number in your mind, see the color of it, see it wash away, and imagine the next number. Once you reach 1 you will be in a nice alpha brain wave state. Deeply relaxed and feeling a sense of calm. It is more difficult than it sounds. You will probably be distracted with your inner critic, past events replaying or perhaps, your to-do lists. Every time you get distracted, start over at 10. Going down, 10, 9, 8.... Training your mind will create happier moods, deeper sleeps, less anxiety, a healthier heart, and increased intuition. Meditation is similar to the state of hypnosis. It is a wonderful practice to have to help you live a less stressful life, and be more productive, and of course, happier.

So change your thoughts, change your brain. Let go and find your flow.

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