Soothe the Stress: Meditate with Open Eyes

Soothe the Stress: A compendium of tips that work. Try one, try ’em all.
You’re anxious, stressed. You’d like to do some meditation or breathing exercise, but every time you slow down and close your eyes: it’s worse!   You try to sleep, but you’re flooded by THE LIST:  all the things you should be doing. You can’t seem to stop your brain from beating you up.

Have I got a meditation practice for you!  Not the definitive one, just another of my quick tips that work.  Just 3 minutes to stress reduction.  And with this one, you get to keep your eyes open.

First you’ll need to select a visual focal point. This is where you’ll gently bring your attention when it starts to wander (and it will! doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong). Common visual images: a candle flame, a flower, a far-off corner of the room. If you’ve ever done Lamaze, this might be somewhat familiar. Just make sure, if you do this on the subway (and you most certainly can! it’s terrific to do on the subway or bus), that you don’t focus on someone else’s newspaper. In fact, probably best not to focus anywhere above the knees, unless their your own. Oh, and make sure you’ve got one foot firmly planted, the other free to adjust to any sudden moves.
You’ll recognize the next steps from other Soothe the Stress posts.

  • Inhale through your nose to a slow count of 5, letting your belly fill with air.
  • Exhale to a slow count of 5, allowing your belly to deflate like a balloon.
  • Now, as you inhale to the slow count of 5, allow yourself to focus your awareness on your focal point.
  • As you exhale to the slow count of 5, let go of any tension you feel in your body, moving from the top of your head down to the soles of your feet.
  • When you find your mind drifiting, gently but firmly bring it back to your focal point. Nothing wrong, nothing to worry about, just back to the focal point.
  • Repeat. Breathe in the focal point, breathe out any tension. Though your eyes are open, you may find your visual field changes, so that you are seeing with a gentle out-of-focus eye.
  • Inhale, letting your belly fill with air, space and relaxation. Exhale, allowing all tension to drop down through your body, out the soles of your feet, as the breath leaves your belly. Again. Again.
    Take one last inhalation, conscious of filling yourself with space and relaxation, and allow any remaining tension to leave with your breath, as you slowly and gently refocus your eyes and reenter your everyday life.

    *10 minute stress reduction videos for your laptop: stressgonein10minutes.com)
    Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved

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    2 responses to “Soothe the Stress: Meditate with Open Eyes

    1. very interesting.
      I found my guru on youtube! and his One Minute ‘Ah’ meditation is incredibly soothing and helps me manifest. He has all kinds of free meditation tools on youtube. There are meditations and mantras to help your prosperity consciousness as well as your health: see
      http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DBE2374F2DA95594
      Thank you.

    2. This was great! Just reading it caused me to do this and put me in a more relaxed state. I try to incorporate mini deep breathing breaks throughout my day and it really helps. Thanks! :0)

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