I have one of those “unquiet minds” that never wants to relax. Even when doing something I love, such as enjoying a concert or going for a long bike rides, my brain is distracted by anxiety. “Am I prepared for that meeting?” “What did it mean when that person said X to me?” or even “Will there be any cauliflower rice at Trader Joe’s tomorrow?”
With the launch of Fit Bottomed Zen, I decided it was my chance to finally learn to calm my mind, begin managing anxiety and create a meditation practice that is doable under just about any circumstance. So it with great pleasure that my first interview on the topic is the amazing meditation rockstar Rebekah Borucki who hosts regular 21-Day Mantra Challenges.
Rebekah (or Bex as many of her pals call her) was first diagnosed at the age of 8 with anxiety. When she was 15, she grabbed a copy of Ram Dass’ Be Here Now and began to manage anxiety with meditation on her own. Bex refuses to say she suffers from anxiety and prefers to treat it as a gift that helps her to have empathy and teach others.
Next year she has a book coming out from Hay House, You Have Four Minutes to Change Your Life, based on her four-minute meditations. She offers insight into why we all seem so overscheduled and unhappy and what we can do to change that. Read on for her best ways for managing anxiety and finding your zen.
1. Don’t Brag About Being Too Busy
The biggest problem is that people pride themselves on being busy and multitaskers when science shows us that this is not what is happening. We are switching tasks and not doing any one thing particularly well.
2. Focus on One Task at a Time
I am much more successful as a businesswoman when I focus on one thing at a time and give it my full attention. Life becomes easier this way. We are set up for success, not failure, but you need to tap into your resources.
3. Do Not Let Worry Overwhelm Your Life
Worry is the No. 1 thing killing us and ruining our productivity because it focuses us in the future, which no one can predict. Focus instead on what you can and cannot control in the moment to manage that anxiety.
4. The Focus Should Not Be on Becoming Calm or Relaxed
Meditation is about learning to focus on one thing at a time. If you are more calm and relaxed afterward, great, but that is a byproduct of meditation.
5. Just Focus the Attention
Start with a very simple meditation technique — inhale for a breath and say “let” then follow that with an exhale while saying “go.” It can be for a few seconds, a minute or even four minutes but your mindset will change with practice.
Do you find it hard to focus on one thing at a time? What is your favorite mantra? —Margo