Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Health

Use downtime to reboot your mind with meditation, mindfulness

Waiting for your computer to load can be frustrating.

Author and science writer James Kingsland recommends using that waiting time for meditation and mindfulness.

"It used to be a source of frustration, having to wait for my old computer to boot up," he said.

With meditation, he added, "it's kind of a way of rebooting your mind while your computer is booting up."

Most experts consider mindfulness to be thinking through what you're feeling and taking in surroundings through your senses.

"Even just in that 15 to 30 seconds, I could use that time to sit back, relax my shoulders and focus on the sensation of my feet on the floor, of my body on the chair and perhaps close my eyes and start to focus on my breath as it goes in and out of my nostrils," said Kingsland, who is based in London and is the author of Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment.

Gently focus on your breath, he said.

This exercise allows you to begin the day with calm and focus.

"Just use it as a way to break the usual flow of thoughts and frustrations and impatience," he said.

Also, it might help to notice posture and make any tweaks before starting the day hunched over.

Check your shoulders, for example, he said. "When I'm not being mindful my shoulders tense; in fact, the whole body tenses," he said.

For Kingsland, meditation transformed his thinking of similar small moments from wastes of time to opportunities.

"I found it was tremendously calming," he said. "Instead of allowing my frustration to steadily boil up, the computer's grinding along and getting slower and slower day by day, instead it was a chance to focus my attention."

Plus, he added, "You can do this at any time during the day when you're having to wait."

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