Finding peace through meditation

Finding peace through meditation

Have you ever been so stressed out in the middle of a work day that you just sat and stared at your computer monitor with your heart racing, unable to focus on the task at hand? Have you ever wished you could quickly calm yourself down so you could move forward? Now there’s an app for that! It’s called Stop, Breathe & Think and it’s brilliant.

A few weeks ago, my friend and co-blogger, Kelly, noticed I was having a difficult day. She turned on her phone and showed me this app, created by Tools for Peace. It’s a simple concept. Open the app, answer a few questions about how you are feeling in the moment, and it spits out 3 quick guided meditations that are structured to meet your immediate needs. This app is easy to use and the voice that guides you through the meditations is soft and soothing. She pauses long enough for you to stop and reflect on the things she says. And the best thing is that with a pair of earphones, you can do the quick meditations at your desk, on a plane, in a waiting room or anywhere you want. (Except in a car while driving. Keep those eyes on the road!)

While the app is free and offers several different types of meditations, you can also buy more advanced or longer meditations if you wish. Or, if you love the work that Tools for Peace does, you can thank them by making a donation to their organization right through the app.

If you’re looking for a little peace in your life, this app can help you find it. Give it a try!

P.S. The opinions in this post are completely my own. Tools for Peace has not compensated me in any way to talk about how awesome this app is. 

March 20: International Day of Happiness

It's spring! Image credit: Purple Beauties by Audrey, on Flickr (modified). CC BY 2.0. 

Today is an important day for two reasons. It’s the first day of spring (hooray!) and it’s the International Day of Happiness.

This day was first commemorated on March 20, 2012, due to a U.N. resolution designed to recognize the importance of happiness to the human experience and consider this in public policy decision making. Since then, several organizations have rallied to promote awareness of this day and encourage people to celebrate by cultivating happiness within themselves and sharing it with others. If you’re looking for ideas to celebrate today, check out the International Day of Happiness and Acts of Happiness websites.

Ultimately, the goal is for us to create happiness within ourselves every day. When you do so, it spills over into your interactions with others, making the world a healthier, happier place. Need help doing so? Project Happiness offers tools to help get you started.

Personally, I try to find or do one thing each day to remind me of my reasons to celebrate life and be grateful. Today, as my effort to spread a little happiness around, I’m sharing the first lip sync battle from The Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon + Paul Rudd + lip sync battle = a happy heart:

Why not share a little happiness yourself? Do you have friends who could use a pick-me-up (or just some Paul Rudd eye candy)? It’s easy to spread the joy! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below.

(Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons.)

During the holiday hustle and bustle, pause to remember what’s most important

Christmas lights at nightImage credit: Christmas Lights at Night by Thomas Quine on Flickr. CC by 2.0.

If your schedule hasn’t gotten hectic yet, it’s probably about to now that the holiday season is in full swing. Before you get too frazzled, take some time to review your “to do” list. Is everything on it something that is necessary, or can you pare it back a little so you can spend time with friends and family?

Making time to have dinner with friends or stroll around with the family looking at Christmas lights is more important than sending a holiday card to John in Accounting. For me, those are the things that make the season memorable. Not cards, not material goods.

Brene Brown recently posted an experience she had placing higher priority on “the list” than making time for some holiday traditions she had with her children. Take a look at what she wrote on her blog. It reminded me of last year, when I decided I just had too much going on to send Christmas cards. While I missed making that sort of contact with friends, it definitely needed to be done and it made for a much more relaxing holiday.

Here’s a happy, healthy and low-stress holiday season!

U.S. Election Day: Rocking the vote on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November since 1845

 U.S. Election DayImage credit: VOTE by Theresa Thompson on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

That’s right, tomorrow is Election Day here in the States. If you’re registered to vote, don’t forget to get out there before the polls close. If you’re not. Why not? It’s easy. (Also, using the excuse you don’t register because you don’t want to get picked for jury duty is invalid. Many states can also go to other sources–such as the department of motor vehicles–to assemble jury pools.)

Are you a nerd who loves historical Election Day statistics? Check out this resource guide of U.S. election statistics complied by the Library of Congress it’s a treasure trove of information!

Time to remember to change your clock settings: Daylight savings time ends 11/2

U.S. Daylight Savings Time Ends 11/2/2014 turn back your clockImage credit: Paris Clocks by Nick on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

If you live in the U.S., daylight savings time ends 11/2 at 2 A.M. Don’t forget to change your clock setting and enjoy your “extra” hour of sleep!