Too busy to meditate? These 4 tiny practices can immediately sharpen your focus

Deepak Chopra: Guided meditation for people on the go
Deepak Chopra: Guided meditation for people on the go

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to counter stress, normalize biorhythms and rebalance the body and mind.

However, many people have a hard time blocking off time to meditate. And with today's constant distractions of the news, smartphones and social media, everyday life has never been more stressful.

As a result, we are besieged by a flood of fast-moving information that ultimately chips away our peace of mind.

If you find it difficult to spare just 10 to 15 minutes of your day to meditate, the next best thing is to give yourself short intervals of inward time throughout the day.

Here are some quick daily practices that won't interfere with even the busiest schedules:

1. Stand up and stretch at least once every hour.
Spending protracted periods of just sitting at your desk in front of your computer isn't healthy. Instead of taking that one minute to check your phone, use it to get up from your seat and move your body.

2. Check regularly, as often as you can, to make sure you feel centered. 
Anytime you notice a negative thought or sensation in your body, take deep breaths: Inhale to the count of four, and pause for a moment. Then, exhale to the count of four and pause for a moment. Repeat this practice until you feel centered again.

3. At any time you can afford a break in your workday, find a place to be alone. 
Find time (i.e., during your lunch break) to step outside and expose yourself to nature. Then, close your eyes and mediate. Do this for at least two to five minutes. You'll return to work feeling centered and refreshed.

4. In the presence of stress, exit the situation immediately.
Don't stick around and wait for your stress to simply "go away." Find a quiet place to clear your mind and practice your breathing exercises.

Practice continuously 

The point of the practices I mention above isn't to constitute a conventional meditation program. Compared to doing nothing, or only meditating a few times a week, it is much more beneficial to follow an incremental approach.

Deepak Chopra's 4 tips to get a good night's sleep
Deepak Chopra's 4 tips to get a good night's sleep

The long-term benefits of meditation largely comes from repetition. By committing to these daily practices, you are reminding your mind and body what it feels like to be centered and calm.

Then, over time, it will be much easier for your mind to return to a centered and focus state. Your brain will also begin to adapt and view relaxation (and not low-level chronic stress) as the norm.

Deepak Chopra is the co-author of "The Healing Self, " founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of Jiyo and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. He is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Deepak is also the host of the new podcasts Infinite Potential and Daily Breath, available on iTunes.

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