A pause to refresh

You will likely want more information on ways of meditating, and a good place to start is with books and videos by respected meditation experts. There are hundreds of books and videos to choose from, and you may have access to classes in meditation offered by local organizations as well. There are also a number of mindfulness apps and online programs available. You will probably want to try a few approaches to see which is most effective for you.

You may well find, however, that the times you need inner calm most tend to be times when you don't have the option of going off for 10 or 20 minutes to meditate. That doesn't mean you don't have access to calmness and clarity of mind. Meditation will help you to have a better handle on your mind and emotions at all times during the day, but there's also something else you can do: at any point during the day, you can take a brief pause to calm your mind and refocus your awareness.

If, for instance, there's a noise that you hear every so often – perhaps a co-worker's phone – pause for 5 seconds when you hear it. Stop, smile slightly, breathe calmly and evenly and be aware of your breath. If you start to think about something, just set it aside and think, "Thinking... thinking... thinking." Try choosing a noise that irritates you, so that instead of simply fuming, you make the noise your signal for a pause to refresh your outlook. You can even stop and think, "Irritation... irritation... irritation..." as you watch the irritation appear and fade away.

This also works if you find your mind wandering from your work, or if you get angry or upset. Just pause, inhale, exhale, and think "wandering" or "angry" or "upset." Don't fight the thoughts or feelings; just recognize them, and be aware of yourself having them. And then continue what you were doing.

And any time you think about meditating and find yourself putting it off to do something else first, pause for 5 seconds and think, "procrastinating... procrastinating... procrastinating..."

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