Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quick Escapes at Your Computer

If you're fried and procrastinating it could be your brain's plea for a break. So don't just visit snarky Web sites or engage in gossip. Instead, there are some great quick-break meditation sites on the web that can get you to real relaxation and help you get productive again:

The Meditation Room

This site offers two great things: Instructions on how to meditate and also guided meditations via RealPlayer Audio. The only bummer is that if you have a Mac, you won't be able to hear them. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Relaxing Image Meditation

I know it sounds like snake oil to say that looking at pretty pictures is anything other than, well, pretty. But research shows that guided imagery can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, as well as blood pressure. This site offers a slideshow of pretty pictures combined with tips on meditation.

Guided Relaxation Audio Files for Anxiety

This site, run by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Services is a treasure trove of both information for identifying and relieving anxiety and of guided audio files on learning relaxation breathing exercises. These come in both RealAudio files and Mac-compatible MP3 downloads and are only a few minutes long. So squeeze them in between appointments.

Deep Breathing Relaxation Audio Sessions

The University of Wisconsin Madison University Health Center offers 18 different short audio files for deep breathing relaxation. Titles like "breath awareness," "peaceful focus" and "brief muscle relaxation" are supported by voice-over explanations or you can choose fils with only harp or nature sounds to support your relaxation. But maybe avoid the "sleep technique" file until bedtime. You don't want to drift off before that big phone call with a new client.


I know. The same site full of snowboarding wipeouts and Asian kids lip syncing to the Backstreet Boys also has a slew of guided imagery and guided meditation videos that can give you a nice break in your day.

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