How to Start a 2 Minute Meditation Practice That You Won’t Quit

2 Minute Meditation

As soon as I hopped on a coaching call last week, I heard a sigh. Jamie was stressed out.

“How was your week Jamie?” I asked her.

Another sigh.

“It was rough. My boss dumped all this extra work on my plate and I can’t do it all.”

“Are you feeling stressed.”

“Oh, boy, do I! I just can’t seem to stop thinking about work.”

“I know the feeling. Why do you think it’s so hard to let go?”

“I know, it’s just…” she trails off.

“It’s just what?”

“I’m not sure. I just don’t know the answer.”

How you feel at work affects your performance, relationships, and your happiness.

Jamie was obviously stressed, so we needed to start at the beginning of how she could deal with her stress. First we had to focus on her and get her back to a calm state before she can even tackle the work overload.

So I asked her “What do you think about starting an easy mediation practice?”

“I can’t meditate!” She said.

“Can you breathe?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Can you sit on a chair or cushion?”

“Sure.”

“Then you can meditate.”

She chuckled.

I may have sounded blunt or facetious, but she knew I was serious. Meditation helps ease stress, improve focus, and best of all increase happiness. I knew that if she could just meditate for two minutes a day for 30 days, she would be hooked.

I walked her through the steps to start meditating. Here are the basics for you to start your own meditation practice as well.

Step 1: Pick a time of day where you can set aside 2 minutes to just be by yourself in a quiet place.

If you live in a noisy house, then you might want to invest in a sound machine that can create white noise to help limit any distractions you may have when you meditate.

Step 2: Give yourself a very compelling reason you should start a 2 minute meditation practice.

Five popular reasons are:

  1. I want to reduce my stress.
  2. I want to be able to focus at work.
  3. I want to feel happier.
  4. I want to “enjoy the moment” more.
  5. I want to live longer.

Pick one or come up with your own reason, but you have to have a really important reason that’s close to your heart so you actually do the next step.

Step 3: Schedule this meditation time on your calendar for the next 30 days.

I meditate at the end of each day, usually after I put my son to bed and before my quality time with my wife. So it’s flexible, but always done. I started with 2 minutes because it felt easy. It got me started and  I loved it.

Now I usually meditate for 10 – 15 minutes Because 2 minutes turned into 5 and then 10. I really do love it, and I rely on it to help keep me happy.

Step 4: Meditate for 2 minutes.

This is actually the hardest part because your inner arch nemesis may hold you back at first, but don’t listen to your inner arch nemesis (internal voice) that may say you don’t have time or that meditating is silly. Say “thank you for your input, but I’m going to try meditating for just 2 minutes”.

So here’s the process:

  1. Sit down on a cushion or chair. It’s important to have a straight spine so the air moves in and out of your lungs easily.
  2. Set a timer for two minutes and hit start.
  3. Close your eyes, put a slight smile on your face to relax your facial muscles, and breathe slowly and easily.
  4. Feel your breath going in and out, and also focus your attention on it.
  5. Every time your thoughts wander to work, life or whatever, just bring your attention back to your breath.
  6. Repeat #5 again and again for the 2 minutes until your timer dings.  You will probably repeat this process 1,000 or 10,000 times for many many months, until you can keep your focus on your breath for any extended period of time. That’s ok, it’s the practice of bringing your focus back to your breath that matters.

I guarantee that at the start, you will lose focus. You may feel frustrated. You may even feel weak. That is all part of the process.

Remember to start simple. Don’t just dive in and meditate for 20 minutes, especially if you are new to meditation. Start with 2 minutes and eventually work your way up.

Step 5: Be Thankful

After your meditation is over, take a few seconds to be thankful about what went well during your 2-minute meditation.

This last step is important. Taking the time to appreciate your meditation will help reinforce this hard work so you will want to do it again tomorrow.

For example, I usually pick 3 different things to be thankful for:

  1. Thank you lungs for working well during my meditation.
  2. Thank you brain for trying your hardest to stay focused on my breath.
  3. Thank you heart for circulating my blood while I meditated.

Step 6:  Take Action

Now go look at your calendar and figure out where you can put 2 minutes of meditation into your schedule every day for 30 days and make it happen. Once you find a good time, try to be consistent with when you meditate, so it has a better chance of becoming a habit.

Even if it means that you can only meditate for one minute then at least do it for one minute. If you can make meditation a part of your daily routine your happiness will increase, your stress will lower, and work will be easier.

Step 7: Tell a Supportive Friend

When you tell someone that you are going to meditate for 2 minutes everyday you will feel responsible to actually do it. Tell them in person. Tell your social media friends. Tell your co-workers. Join a local meditation group. Tell us in the comment section.

You won’t want to let them down.

It’s just a little trick to make sure you give yourself the best chance of turning this stress relieving and happiness inducing practice into a daily routine.

Who wants to join in?

If you want support from the Work Happy Now community, then make your voice heard in the Comment section. We’ll be glad to support you and help you get your meditation practice off the ground.

If you know you want to start meditation to lower your stress, try starting with Active Relaxation. It’s more of meditation for everyday experiences.

And even if you don’t need support, please comment on how you’re doing with your new meditation practice.

Day 30 of 30 Meditation Challenge – Micro Progress

meditation

Have you ever seen fast forward video footage of a plant coming out of the ground?

It’s simply beautiful.

You see these small delicate green stems pushing up out of the ground and you can almost hear them struggle then sigh as they come into their own.

I’m 37 years old and yet I still feel like I’m in these earlier stages of growth.

Catalyst

Meditation has been my fast forward button that I just wasn’t ready to push in the past.

Now the button has been pushed.

I’m enjoying the benefit of my struggles to get where I am today.

My career has had many ups and downs. I believe that much of my earlier stress in my career and poor choices caused my cancer.

I’m currently the healthiest I’ve ever been. Happier, more energy and my relationships have become stronger with more diverse people in my life. I feel lucky.

After meditating for 30 days I’ve realized how hard I’ve been on myself, how I couldn’t let go of pain and enjoy the present moment.

Your Career

Look at your life and try to remember a difficult moment that occurred in the past few weeks. Was it a difficult moment with a co-worker? Was it fear of a new project? Was it back pain from sitting too long?

Whatever caused your pain, only you can let go of it and put your focus on what truly matters.

At the top my “to do” list for the past few weeks has been the phrase:

“Most important first!”

I thought of this while I was meditating. I realized that I just didn’t make the simple choice of doing the most important thing first.

So I stopped.

If I choose to procrastinate by reading an article on my favorite sports team I owned up to it. I gave myself permission to enjoy it then move on to doing the most important first.

What a difference this has made.

Because I’m taking the time to sit down, let me thoughts go and focus on my breath I’m developing more awareness when I make choices.

This is a gift that meditation allowed me to open up to. I’m not allowing my thoughts to dictate how I feel and what choices I make. I believe that my feelings can be let go.

I feel them for what they are and now I’m learning to let them go.

Small Steps

I tried meditating in the past, but never to this level of consistent success.

There is just something special about trying a 30 day challenge that will change you forever, even in just the most subtle and silent way that makes it all worth it.

And if the 30 Day Challenge doesn’t work as you thought it would then you can just try something else.

Look at your career and think about what could use a little more leverage. Is it your emotional state? Is it your relationships? Is it your income?

Then think of one simple thing you could do every day to help this part of your career. I guarantee you’ll love the results.

30-day-challenge-image-250

Your Turn

Did you try a 30 Day Meditation Challenge for yourself? Has it helped you personally or professionally?

Would you like to try a 30 Day Meditation Challenge next month?

Would you be interested in me putting a small course around creating your own 30 day challenge to improve your career and life?

Would you prefer a meditation challenge course or an overview of how to put a 30 day challenge together.

I know a lot of questions. I know. The more feedback I get the better.

* I’m working on a much overdue redesign for Work Happy Now. What would you like for me to add or eliminate to make it easier to navigate and read the articles?

New 30 Day Challenge! Meditation

meditation

I recently owned up to a mistake I made on this blog. I apologized for my actions. You can read about it here.

As my mistake soaked in I realize how far I have yet to go to fully open up to who I am.

So…

I’m starting another 30 Day Challenge!

My last 30 day challenge I created the “realign my joy with my subconscious” challenge to help me understand and appreciate my everyday challenges that I go through.

30-day-challenge-image-250

I’m starting a 30 Day Meditation Challenge.

I want to meditate every single day in October for at least 10 minutes. I’ve done research and most of the experts agree that 20 minutes is optimal.

This seems like a bit of a stretch for me. I practice Yoga, but 20 minutes while sitting still on a cushion is more than I can handle.

10 minutes a day seems doable and won’t stress me out.

The first step is picking a time that I will meditate every day. I have to find a time that fits my schedule. Make sure that I won’t have any clients to deal with, no webinars, etc.

The next step is set my alarm to go off every day at this time.

Then all that is next is taking the time to meditate.

I’m curious to how this will affect my productivity. Will it bring it down or will it increase it?

I’ll document all this on the blog, the Work Happy Now Facebook page and my @kstaib Twitter account.

I would really like for you to join in with me.

Do you think you could take 10 minutes out of every day to meditate and let us know how it makes you feel?

The more people we can get to do this challenge the better results we’ll see because we can keep each other accountable.

Day 7 of Realigning My Subconscious My Joy – Cloud 9

30 Day ChallengeAs you may know I’m working on a 30 day Challenge. I’m on a mission to realign my joy with my subconscious.

Now I’m a pretty happy guy. I had testicular cancer a few years ago and it gave me a new lease on life. My two year check-up this past June was clean.

Yeah!

The thing is I fell back into my old habits. I was worrying about little things that really didn’t matter.

I had a few lousy night of sleep last month. I felt out of sync. I knew I needed to do something to help improve my perspective.

I decided on a 30 day challenge because of how much my no complaining challenge improved my life.
[Read more...]

Freedom at Work is Relative

feeling-freeSo many of my friends complain about the restrictions that work puts on them. They have to come in at a certain time, they don’t have the resources to make their projects successful or their co-workers are difficult. They don’t see how these obstacles are windows into their ability to feel happy.

I do the same thing.

When you work for someone else or yourself there will be restrictions within your day. Your co-worker might ask for your help right in the middle of working on your own project or you might get a phone call.

It’s how you handle your restrictions, distractions and difficulties that will really support your happiness.
[Read more...]

How to Create Emotional Space at Work

knee paddingBuilding an emotional buffer is vital to surviving the working world. If we take every complaint, compliment and comment to heart we get too caught up in our emotions. When we are attached to how we feel we get pushed around by the most dominant emotion.

Anger

I had an old boss that was an emotional roller coaster. Every day was a new type of ride. A lot of times I had trouble interpreting her emails. For example I sent her an update on a project that I’ve been working on for the past couple weeks. I thought it was thorough and quite good.

She did not see it this way.
[Read more...]

Work is Killing You and 10 Ways to Stop It From Happening!

exercise-at-workEditor’s Note: This is a guest post from Gus Zambrano.

Every morning, you awaken to a new day and you launch into your familiar routines as you hustle to meet your daily obligations. 

Ideally, your work excites you, energizes you, and brings joy to your life. If your work brings you more stress and fatigue than joy then now is the time to make some changes. You can introduce a renewed vigor into your work and upgrade your attitude.

You know that taking care of yourself should be your number one priority. Yet you often let your health and fitness levels fall by the wayside if you are consistently working 50 or more hours a week.
[Read more...]

10 Feng Shui Ways To Make Office Life Better

feng-shuiEditor’s note: this is a guest post from Michael Schnippering of Feng Shui at Work.

Feng Shui helps with a variety of different problems. It can even help with problems in the business. They give many tips on how to make a business successful and stay successful.

For example, Andrew was a small business owner who complained about having lost his level of concentration. “It all started quickly after I moved into his new office,” Andrew said.  His desk was split by two different magnetic chi fields resulting in migraines. His loss of concentration was caused by Andrew not sitting in one of his supporting directions. We moved his desk according to the principles of Feng Shui, and shortly after Andrew felt relief from the negative effects which had impacted his energies before.
[Read more...]

Recharge Your Battery Throughout the Day

rechargeYour internal battery needs to be recharged on a regular basis. You can’t continue at break neck speed and expect to stay happy and keep reaching your goals.

The hard part is making your recharge a daily habit. If as many people meditated as much as they drank beer we would not be so stressed out and exhausted.

Drinking alcohol is fun. I enjoy a good dark beer every so often, but I stopped drinking every day because of the drag on my body.

I also stopped relying on vacations to recharge my battery. Needing a vacation is a myth that I want to crush right here. You don’t need a vacation. Yes, it may be nice, but you don’t really need one.
[Read more...]

Holiday Stress Relief Tips that Last All Year Long

curled-elfEditor’s note: This is a guest post by Eileen Habelow, Ph.D. of Randstad

December is one of those contradictory months during which we use the most vacation time but feel the most stressed. Why is this? Add up the limited time in the office, the fact that everyone on vacation isn’t responding to email or voicemail and the personal workload of holiday shopping and cooking, and you have your answer.

But the question isn’t why we’re stressed but what we can do about it. While you’re still at the office this holiday season, here are a few tips to keep the stress level down and the cheer up.
[Read more...]

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