7 Meditation Techniques to Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress
These techniques will reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia while increasing serenity, focus, and relaxation – in as little as 10 minutes a day. Using any of these 7 techniques will produce life (and career!) enhancing results.
By James Gray Robinson,Family Lawyer and Consultant
The benefits of meditation have become commonly accepted by all segments of society. Reduced stress, stronger focus, increased calm, and better sleep are just some of the benefits of meditation. There are as many ways to meditate as there are people, there is no right way or wrong way to meditate.
The basic premise of these meditation techniques for lawyers is to be quiet for a period of time and let your mind be still and break the cycle of over-thinking. Many lawyers have resisted the concept of meditation, primarily because it has been considered esoteric and detracts from a focus on their legal practice. I know this first-hand because for my first 20 years as an attorney, I rarely took time to breathe, let alone authentically relax.
In fact, meditation sharpens focus, unclutters the mind, and improves health. It can be done in as little as 10 minutes or as long as you want. Here are meditation techniques for lawyers that won’t seem exotic or weird, and can be practiced during the day or night.
1. Breathing Meditation.
Yes, simply breathing. The focus is breathing in as deeply as possible and exhaling as completely as possible. There is nothing else to think about. The benefits of this kind of meditation include stimulating the Vagas nerve (in the abdomen) which results in lowered blood pressure. Additionally, by breathing deeply you are increasing the supply of oxygen to the frontal cortex, which helps you to think.
If you are stressed and over-thinking matters, this meditation is for you. If you want, you can inhale for a count (1,2,3,4…) and exhale for the same count, pausing at the end of the inhale and at the end of the exhale.
2. Spot Meditation.
Pick a spot on your desk or on the wall and simply focus on it. Let your eyes soften (lower your eyelids) and let the spot fill your attention. Feel yourself relax as you focus on this spot and calmness will help you relieve stress or anxiety. Do this for 10 minutes or longer.
3. Body Meditation.
Close your eyes and scan your body. If you feel any tension anywhere in your body, imagine that part of your body relaxing and releasing the tension. Start at your feet or your head and scan all of your body. By the time you are done, you will wonder what you were so stressed about.
4. Guided Meditation.
You can get all kinds of guided meditation videos on YouTube, audio resources on the internet (just Google “Guided Meditation” for literally millions of suggestions), or download an app (currently, the most popular app for meditation is Calm). These guided meditations can be for healing, mind control, relaxation, remote viewing, or all kinds of experiences. You can wear ear plugs so no one else will know what you are doing.
You can listen to someone guiding you, or nature sounds, or even try “brainwave entrainment”: innovative and science-based sounds purportedly increasing brain function or inducing a variety of brainwave states, including enhanced focus, relaxation, meditation, or sleep.
5. Mantra Meditation.
A mantra is a word, phrase or sentence that has some meaning for you, which you silently repeat while remaining still with your eyes closed. You can also use affirmations, such as:
- “With this breath, I inhale strength and exhale stress.”
- “At this moment, I choose to feel calm and peaceful. Everything is unfolding as it should.”
- “Today, I choose to release the past and look forward to the successful future that awaits.”
- “I am one smart, skilled, good-looking lawyer!”
6. Walking Meditation.
This is something you can do in public. It simply involves focusing on your body as you are walking. Noticing what your feet, legs, hands, arms, hands and other parts of your body are doing while you are walking is very calming and relaxing. You do have to pay attention to traffic if you are walking on streets where vehicles are moving.
7. Music Meditation.
Listening to soothing music is very beneficial. Piano, strings, orchestra, or wind instruments can lift your spirits like nothing else. I tend to avoid music that is jarring or mind-blowing, which would be counterproductive. The idea is to pick music that calms the soul. Just relax and focus on the music. There is also music created expressly for meditation or yoga; Google “Meditation Music” for some options
Meditation will reduce stress, anxiety, and health problems while increasing serenity, focus, and relaxation. Using any of these techniques will produce life (and career!) enhancing results. Being calm and relaxed in your law practice is very beneficial to building confidence in your clients and colleague. Be a legal Buddha!
James Gray Robinson, Esq. was a third generation trial attorney, specializing in family law, for 27 years in his native North Carolina up until 2004, when he became a business consultant. At the age of 64, he passed the Oregon bar exam and is again a licensed attorney. www.JamesGrayRobinson.com