A quick note before we jump in: Though I'm not a doctor, I afford everyone I talk with a doctor-patient privilege similar to that of a trained therapist or physician. Out of respect for people's privacy and their trust in me, I've changed the names, and some telling biographical details, of all the individuals included in this article. In the exact same way, but with a conscious intention behind it, this breathing exercise can be used in your everyday life. You are facing a stressful situation, eg B. In that case, just do this breathing exercise below, which will only take you a few minutes. You can do this exercise while sitting or standing on the S-Bahn or in a room full of people without anyone noticing. It is not even necessary to close your eyes. Neither do you have to put your hands on your body, as described in the previous exercise. You can do this little meditation anywhere and anytime to go through your everyday life with more calm. If you are just starting out with meditation, it may be advisable to do this little meditation at least once a day. Explore your body with your consciousness An also very easy to get started to begin with meditation, the body travel. Whoever renders directly and authentically that which impels her to create is one of us. In other words, We define ourselves by working what we care about into what we do. This prompted her to return to the drawings she did back when it was just for herself, and used them to find her voice again to create a work of unexpected beauty for her client. As much as possible, you should try re-introduce yourself to the things and memories you made just for you. We all have a few. Even if your hobbies are just videogames, there must've been one that got you to love this form of entertainment; Once you're re-introduced to what you enjoy, you'll be in a better position to spend time alone, and the me-time you set aside to ask these questions can now be set aside to simply enjoy doing what you enjoy most. Set Boundaries

Me-time, as valuable as it is, simply isn't possible without boundaries. A quick way to set boundaries is to recognize that the emails and social media that encroach on our space don't tend to go anywhere: at work, it's usually sufficient to check your emails once when you clock in, perhaps once either just before or right after lunch, and then one final time about an hour before you clock out. However, every person you're about to meet, starting with Susan from Chicago, is based on someone real with an actual future that needed to be recast. Learning What You Want to Be When You Grow Up A cold wind cut through the streets of Chicago as I hustled to my morning appointment. It was the first really cold day of winter and I was underdressed--not something to be proud of if you're a person who gets paid to envision the future. But apart from the stiff breeze blowing in off Lake Michigan, it was a beautiful, sunny day in the windy city. As I walked into the coffee shop, the bustle of the street gave way to a warm, relaxing hum. The shop was filled with the kinds of people you would expect to find at 10:30 a. Students with big headphones tapping away at laptops. Tourists huddled around tables, taking in the retro bohemian vibe, planning for a day of sightseeing. And a handful of professionals quietly taking calls or answering emails on their phones. This exercise is particularly preferred in the context of mindfulness meditation, because it trains the awareness of one's own physicality. The basic principle is to mentally explore the body in a relaxed state. The eyes are closed. Be aware of all of your body parts and give your body an amount of attention that it generally does not receive. This very targeted exercise, which is focused on a specific form, has the advantage that one does not normally wander, as can happen with other meditative practices. That makes this exercise particularly suitable for beginners. The body travel is divided into three basic Pha s s. In phase one you arrive first.

Take a few deep breaths and try to become aware that your body is part of the space around you. Now close your eyes and start with phase two, in which you look at all parts of your body step by step with your thoughts. Unless you need your social media for professional correspondence (and you shouldn't, that's what emails are for), you might find only using it on weekends is best, or perhaps only on set hours of the day that you choose yourself. If anyone complains or gets angry as a result, it says more about their own addiction to the use of social media than it does anything about you, no matter what the complainer might say. Social media is made addictive by design. If you let your hands tap at it whenever they wish, you'll lose hours doing nothing but checking, and checking, and checking. Instead of checking constantly to see if a friend/crush has texted you back (if the conversation was urgent, they wouldn't be letting you wait), simply spend your day as you would without them, and check back about 40 minutes or so before bed. It's okay to not be omniscient; This is how we lose sight of ourselves, and why we often end up forgetting the cores behind our passions. To remain the author of your own life, let your passions define your media use, not the other way around. By the same token, limit the degree to which your work can contact you after hours; Your growth and development is a worthwhile venture. I was in town to meet with one of my private-practice clients, Susan, a fortysomething marketing executive at a major technology company. We'd met a few years back at a conference, done some work together here and there, but mostly stayed in touch through our social networks. It had been about six months since our last direct contact, so I wasn't sure what to expect when she reached out and asked to meet for coffee. I didn't see Susan anywhere in the shop, so I grabbed a black coffee from the barista and snagged one of the last empty tables. A few minutes later, Susan stormed through the door, made a beeline for me, dumped her bags, gave me a quick hug, and ran off to get a green tea. Susan's whirlwind exterior gave the impression of dishevelment, but I knew better. This was a highly successful executive, well respected in her company, throughout the industry, and indeed around the world. Still, I could tell something was amiss.

When she returned to the table, I smiled and asked, How can I help? I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, Susan replied with a short, uncomfortable laugh. Finally, in phase three, you withdraw your consciousness from your body and focus it again on the space around you. This exercise works especially well when you practice it while lying down. Guided body journey Get ready to explore your body on a journey . Lie comfortably on your back on a soft surface. Relax and place your arms loosely next to you. S chl Now ow your eyes and make sure weiterzuatmen completely normal. Look at your body from the outside with your mind's eye and make yourself aware that you are lying. Can you feel the pressure of your pad on your body? Do this consciously from the bottom upwards over your feet, thighs, buttocks, back and shoulders. Saying yes to anyone is no good if it'll just lead to your stagnation and growing resentment later down the line; Using Help Effectively Although protagonists tend to become the hero of their story, they seldom do it entirely alone. However, it is rare that we get help without giving something in return, whether that's granting our own help in turn, or otherwise furthering our helper's interests in some way. No one is an island, but a fine balance must be struck to ensure you do not become dependent where you can avoid it. To this end, there are several guidelines to using help effectively. Don't seek help in finding happiness, seek help in feeling safe. A questing knight doesn't ask the wizard to solve the adventure for them, but they might ask for a magic sword or shield to help them along the way.

Likewise, at work you can't ask someone to do your project for you (not legitimately, not if you want to keep credit for it), but you can ask for information or additional resources that will help you succeed and thus feel safe at work. Finally, in your personal life you cannot ask for people to make you happy, but if there's something specific that's making you feel insecure, you can ask a trusted mentor for advice on how to deal with the issue. Really, BDJ, I've been thinking about it, and I really don't know what I want to be when I grow up. She gave a deep sigh, swirling her tea with a wooden stirrer. I've been here many times before, with many other clients. It's the moment when they're first trying to imagine their future and all they can see is a huge yawning chasm of nothingness. It's terrifying for them. For me, it's kind of thrilling. It means the chase is on. I know I don't want to keep doing the same job I have now, Susan went on, snapping back into the present moment. Don't get me wrong, I like the work and the people, but I never thought I'd be forty-six years old and doing this . That makes sense, I answered. Feel the contact and continue to breathe normally. Also, watch your thoughts and feelings. Let them appear and float away. Be aware of their feelings and thoughts. Do not judge them, but realize that all of your thoughts and feelings have a reason and a justification. Concentrate on your breath. As already described in the previous exercise, you consciously perceive how the air flows in and out of your body . Remember to breathe through your nose.