5 Ways to Help You Clear the Mental Clutter in Your Head {in Just ONE Minute}

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Rough day? Week? Month? Year? {Check to all of the above?} For many of us, the day-to-day in the NYC metro area is tough. Commuting {whether public transport or driving in hella traffic}, working long hours, and everything else that comes with fast-paced city living can definitely catch up with you. To combat this, Laurel Lederman, a meditation coach in town, is sharing some easy ways to calm down in just ONE minute per day. Here she is:

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If you’re anything like me {sensitive and observant} you might feel overwhelmed at times by life’s curveballs. Even if you don’t identify as a sensitive soul, living in a fast-paced city you can certainly relate to the amount of events, content, people, and information that inundate our psyche non-stop.  For the most part we are unaware of how much stimuli take in each day.

Do you find yourself running around the Mile Square city thinking there’s never any time to do anything? While yes, many of our lives are quite busy, the time we actually have has never changed. What has changed is the mindset around time. That’s where my go-to practice comes in handy: meditation and mindfulness.

Meditation, EXPLAINED {It’s not just for yogis!}

Meditation is widely misunderstood as a practice solely for yogi’s or people living off the grid. Quite the contrary. Meditation is a workout for your mind, body, and spirit. By slowing down our thoughts, heart rate, and blood pressure we are able to make better decisions, feel a sense of well-being, and overall experience deeper joy in our lives. Best of all it’s free — and can be done anywhere at anytime.

The Balance Between Peace and Your Crazy Life

As a meditation teacher and health coach, I meet hundreds of adults who are constantly looking for peace and in that hour we spend together coaching or tuning into our higher selves they seem to be able to achieve that peace they crave. What happens next seems cyclical: centered on the mat and crazed when they leave. How can we blend the two so our lives feel in our control? It doesn’t involve moving to a remote island, quitting your job (although I did that recently), or creating massive upheaval.

The simplest way to get back into center takes exactly one Mindful Minute. 

Here is a practice to try when you need to get back into your body and out of your head by using a 5 senses approach called Look Around You.

1. Find five things you can see.
Wherever you are, find 5 different things to focus on for a few seconds. Notice the details, colors, dimensions and any other properties that draw you to those five things. Notice how your mind begins to settle down – it’s pretty radical!
2. Find four things you can touch.
Whatever you’re doing find something you can touch. If you’re at a desk it might be office supplies. It could even be as small a feeling a fingernail or an eyelash. If you’re out and about maybe stop and touch a street sign or a tree. Using your hands to feel immediately takes you out of the mind and focuses your attention on what you’re doing in that moment.
3. Find three things you can hear.
When was the last time you stopped to hear a bird chirp or intently listened to the sounds around you? Probably a long time ago if ever! Listen for three sounds around you. Focusing on what you hear will block out stimuli and help you regain presence and clarity.
4. Find two things you can smell.
Take a whiff around you. Even if the smell is unpleasant it’s still a shift from chaos to calm. Tune in to the smells around you, you’ll find there’s a lot to smell that isn’t pollution related! If you cant find anything to smell then smell your own hair or skin and try to identify what that smell reminds you of. The sense of smell has a way of transcending the mind. Noticing smells immediately takes us out of the mind and into the present moment.
5. Find 1 thing you can taste.
If you have a drink in front of you sip it slowly noticing the taste as it hits your taste buds. You can also try a great practice I learned at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Practice chewing all the food until it breaks down completely. Taking small, slow bites heightens our awareness of flavor, texture and consistency of the food.
The first step in changing behaviors is making a conscious commitment. If you’re curious about meditation, shoot me an email at laurellederman@gmail.com, I would be happy to help you get started or answer any questions about meditation. If you’re ready to try my tips on your own, take a picture of your “Look Around You” practice and share them on Instagram with the hashtag #hobokenhealthcoach. 

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Laurel discovered holistic health in 2009 while searching for ways to heal herself from chronic health concerns. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and supports individuals in finding their own path to health and inner happiness. Laurel believes that everyone deserves a personal cheerleader while making dietary and lifestyle changes - one size does not fit all nor should it! Laurel's upbeat attitude and love of life inspires her clients to see their lives from a fresh perspective while having fun making healthy shifts. In the process she discovered a love of yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and cooking. Laurel's website laurellederman.weebly.com is where you can find nourishing recipes, inspiring blogs, and coaching + events. She also has written pieces for the Huffington Post's Healthy Living section.


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