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Count down meditation

This is a simple easy relaxation exercise or meditation. The question of how much relaxation is enough can generate just enough anxiety or indecision to interfere with the relaxation itself. The count down overcomes this problem by giving the mind a simple task involving no uncertainty or decision making yet demanding enough to maintain alertness.

  1. Decide before you start that during the meditation there is nothing else that you should be thinking about. You can think later but for this little block of time your only task is to relax.

  2. Relax as you exhale. Sighs are relaxing; it may help to mentally say the word "relax" with each exhalation.

  3. The short form is for ten breaths which you will count. To avoid the need to remember to stop when you reach ten you start with ten and count down to zero at which time the meditation is over. For ten breaths you will relax as much as you can. This only takes a couple of minutes and can completely reset your attitude. It also causes you to pay attention to your breathing which is widely recommended in meditation.

  4. The long form is exactly the same except you start with 100 breaths. This one is good if you have difficulty falling asleep. You may lose count as you drift off but just resume at the last number you remember. The long form is also good if you are compelled to wait somewhere and must kill some time. It takes 15-20 minutes.