A 2-Minute Stress Buster

Meditation seems to have arrived in the mainstream of late, and for good reasons. As reported in a 2004 issue of Time Magazine -- brain imaging shows that meditation actually shifts your brain's activity from the right side of your brain, over to the left side.

So what?

Such a shift calms your brain's often overworked "rational thinking center," and reduces the stress response.

This shift of activity to the left side of the brain immediately allows you to be less stressed -- and almost instantly far more relaxed and mentally focused.

The following is a quick and easy seated meditation for rapid stress reduction, relaxed alertness, greatly increased energy and mental clarity. You'll also get an easy boost toward healthy longevity.

This simple exercise takes advantage of the direct connection of your eyes to the optic nerve -- which is a direct pathway to the higher thinking centers of your brain.

The resulting "message" tells your mind to unwind and release stress. The measurable *net result* is an instant increase in your slower alpha and theta brainwaves -- the meditation secret to calm mental awareness. This is also a great way to instantly drop your blood pressure, and often also seems to have the effect of easing tension headaches.

Just follow these simple steps to quickly bust your stress:

1. Sit upright in a comfortable chair, keeping your spine as straight as comfortable. (Don't force it.)

2. Position your feet flat on the floor.

3. Allow your eyes to gaze comfortably downward.

4. Soften your focus, and don't "look" at anything in particular.

5. Keep your eyes open, but allow your eyelids to "droop"as far down as comfortable (don't force them to drop lower).

6. Continue to gaze downward, focusing on nothing in particular.

7. Gently notice that your breathing has become very regular and comfortable.

8. Don't resist if your attention begins to drift. Just allow yourself to soften your focus and remain calm.

9. If your eyes want to close, let them do so.

10. Maintain your meditation for as long as you wish.

End your meditation with two or three mentally-energizing deep, slow breaths.

� 2004 All Rights Reserved

The author, Dr Jill Ammon-Wexler, is a doctor of psychology, pioneer brain/mind researcher, and former advisor to the Pentagon, a Presidential Commission, and numerous top executives and executive teams. The author of several books and hundreds of articles, she is also the co-founder of quantum-self.com, and the Creative Director of the Self Discovery Community. She can be reached at: [email protected]

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