Nine Ways to Explore Your Mind and Heart

You've got it all going on. You exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, love your children, and enjoy…

You’ve got it all going on. You exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, love your children, and enjoy your work. But when was the last time you gave your heart and mind time to relax and grow?

Despite your responsibilities, make time to center yourself through meditation. You don’t have to twist yourself into Buddha-like poses or join a temple. Here are nine easy ways to relieve stress and clear your mind this week.

1. Take a walk in nature. Focus on the simplicity around you. Leave your cell phone and other distractions at home. Feel the stress melt away.

2. Be creative. Learn a new craft, such as knitting or painting. While being creative, tune out the world around you to focus on improving your newfound talent and your overall concentration.

3. Breathe deeply. Wherever you are right now, close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. This calms your heart rate and lowers high blood pressure.

4. Read inspirational writing. From poetry to novels, words of encouragement can deeply affect your outlook on the world around you.

5. Relax in a bubble bath. As you meditate, think only of the warmth of the water and your level of comfort and tranquility.

6. Listen to music. Choose melodic pieces that allow your mind to drift to a happy memory or serene setting.

7. Write. Start a journal, compose poetry, or simply jot down your dreams and aspirations. Meditation is about listing to your inner feelings.

8. Try aromatherapy. Enjoy the scents of relaxing sandalwood, vanilla, or lavender to clear your mind.

9. Think about someone special. Choose a person who moves you emotionally. Focus on a past conversation, moment, or words they have said.

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