Daniel and Alex here, welcome to Advice Is Nice! During our 13 years of friendship we’ve experienced a shift in human connection. As technology improves our lives and helps us feel more comfortable, human connection has become less understood. We want Advice Is Nice to guide you towards a path of self awareness, mindfulness and in turn – connection with others. Follow our journey as we share personal stories of self discovery and teachings from some of the greatest minds in the world today.
Hi guys! After reading this we hope you will understand how to meditate in the most simple way possible to reduce stress and anxiety within 20 minutes. Let’s start by giving you a few of the reasons why we both began to meditate:
It helps us to improve our self awareness. Meditation helps us to become aware of the relationship we have with ourselves. By this we mean that we are becoming more aware of our subconscious and automatic thoughts, reactions and behaviours.
Reduces stress and anxiety.
Improves our ability focus for longer periods of time.
Reach a state of calm for more productivity and clarity.
Feel happier and less reactive in life in general.
Here’s how you can start meditating right now, we call this one the Foundational Meditation Technique:
Find a place by yourself, sitting or lying down, no distractions, try not to fall asleep.
Focus on your breath as it travels in and out of the lungs. You can either listen to the sound of your inhale and exhale or feel the breath on your top lip. Simply focus your thoughts on these things.
The purpose of meditation is to focus on one thing. In this case that thing is our breath. So start by closing your eyes and thinking about your breath.
Now, here’s the secret.We had it wrong because we gave up when our mind wandered. Here is the process that we currently follow and understand to be true, we ask you to plant step 5 in your mind as you meditate:
Close eyes focus on your breath.
You will eventually become distracted and your mind wanders. It doesn’t matter how long your mind wanders for. 1 minute, 10, 30 or 2 hours.
You become aware that your mind has wandered.
You give up and slap yourself. OR:
Bring your attention back to your ‘one thing,’ in this case this is our breath. When you bring your attention back this is a bicep curl for your brain. If we give up at this point then our brain exercise is incomplete.
So now that we know how to perform a bicep curl for our brain, we simply repeat this process for 20 minutes every day. Consistency is key with meditation. Focus on our breath, become aware that our mind has wandered, bring our attention back to our breath. The repetition of this process will shorten the time it takes for you to become aware that your mind has wandered. So 30 minutes of riding the thought train will become 10 minutes. And over time you’ll be able to become aware of your wandering mind very quickly.
Now let’s put this into context and jump into your future. You’ve been meditating for 1 month and now you become aware of your wandering thoughts within one second. So your mind wanders, you catch it, then you reel it back in and think about your breath. All of this happens for you in less than one second.Imagine now that you’re talking to a friend, your friend has personal issues and is unjustifiably blaming you for an accident. As your friend is talking at you with negativity you begin to feel guilty… then after 15 seconds you feel angry and you feel like you’re about to react vocally.But because of your month long meditation practice you become aware of this feeling of arising anger, just as you would become aware of your mind wandering during meditation. At this point you think yourself “If I’m not the one being angry, then who am I?” You are now the observer. You have now created space between stimulus (your friend) and reaction (your anger). In this space, as you’re no longer being angry, you can think about the other potential responses and decide on the best one. Is anger really the best response? Is it really necessary?
When you learn to quickly observe your own thoughts and emotions without reacting you are learning to become self aware. Ie you’re becoming aware of your automatic reactions rather than being in your automatic reactions. To be self aware is to be aware of your automatic unconscious thoughts, reactions and behaviours.
We like to use the following analogy. Imagine yourself on the beach, on a lounge chair, relaxing. There