Almost 40 percent of Americans admit they worry every day, and the media has pegged today's millennials as "The Anxious Generation." Although interest in meditation and mindfulness is ever growing, many of us don't have the time or patience to develop a serious practice. Health and happiness guru Karen Salmansohn's unique brand of fun mini-meditations use the power of focus and the five senses to achieve the same results as more standard meditation techniques in far less time. Packed with full-page illustrations, fascinating scientific studies, and Salmansohn's patented wit, Instant Calm helps you tap into stress-releasing topics like forest bathing (sound), essential oils (smell), earthing (touch), dot meditations (sight), and more—in just two minutes. Soon you’ll be swapping your aarghs for ahhhs!
Advance praise for Instant Calm
“Instant Calm can help anyone redefine and expand their meditation practice. She shares a range of unique sensory meditations—which tap into all five senses—and offer a quick, fun approach to reset your mind and refocus your energy. I personally have begun to use these mini meditations whenever I just want to feel a mental boost throughout my day. I love the illustrations and Karen’s fun and lighthearted voice! I highly recommend this book as a helpful guide to decompress from life’s challenges.”—Kristine Carlson, New York Times bestselling author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff For Women
“If you’re feeling stressed and looking for ways to relax and feel focused (and pretty much everybody in today’s world is!) well . . . then . . . this book is a game-changer for you. It makes doing meditation feel so easy and fun. It’s great for beginners to meditation—and also helpful for advanced meditators—because there’s something for everyone. What I especially love about this book is the wide range of sensory meditations Karen offers. Open up the book anywhere—and you will find a useful fun two-minute tool you can use to relax and feel grounded again. Plus the illustrations are gorgeous.”—Christina Rasmussen, bestselling author of Second Firsts: Live, Laugh and Love Again
Related collections and offers
|Publisher:||Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
For many years I had recurring issues with stress.
Being worried and overwhelmed regularly kept me feelingdistracted, unproductive, and less emotionally connected to thepeople I loved. Just thinking about that time makes me want toreach back through a time tunnel and hug my past self!
Thankfully, there was one technique that truly helped me withmy anxiety. Actually, this technique pretty much saved me—andstill does.
It’s a type of meditation that taps into the five senses: sight,sound, touch, taste, and smell. I love doing these sensorymeditations—not only because they are fun, but also becausethey work incredibly effectively to calm my busy, chatteringmonkey mind.
As soon as I developed the practice of using these sensorymeditations, I started to feel more calm and confident—evenwhen a challenge would strike.
These sensory meditations work in a powerful and quick way because they direct your attention to one of your specific senses. This mental refocusing then happily distracts your brain from your worries—and retrains your brain to focus instead on the peace of the present moment.
I’m not the only one who loves and recommends sensory meditations as a method for relaxation. So do psychologists, yogis, neuroscientists, and university researchers. Often referred to as grounding tools, anchors, one-pointed meditations, or concentration meditations, sensory meditations have been shown to offer many benefits. They can help
• relax the mind.
• encourage the mind to be more open to other choices and think in new ways.
• release the anxiety that might otherwise lead to stressinduced habits, like overeating and smoking.
• improve how quickly people learn.
• reset your brain and body to deal with anxiety from a place of inner strength and greater clarity—so that you stay calm and confident even in the midst of challenges.
• stop obsessive anxious thoughts.
• calm you quickly when you’re dealing with uncomfortable feelings, like anger, fear, grief, or self-loathing.
• retrain your brain to focus better—which means you’re more able to focus on solutions.
For all these reasons, meditation is regularly being prescribed by mainstream doctors as a tool to help patients combat stress, reduce high blood pressure, and even regulate hormone levels. These days lots of doctors and psychiatrists are recognizing the amazing powers of meditation to calm people down—and make them feel more balanced.
• Harvard researchers have reported that mindfulness meditation can increase cortical thickness in the brain’s hippocampus (the brain zone in charge of learning, memory, emotion regulation, and more). They also found that meditation reduces brain cell density in the amygdala (the region that helps trigger physical reactions to fear and anxiety, among other things).
• UCLA research has reported that meditation plumps up the gray matter volume throughout the brain, which can change your brain for the better, helping you to calm down and learn to focus more successfully during stressful times.
• A review of research at Johns Hopkins found that meditation seems to have as much effect as antidepressants when it comes to improving some symptoms of mild or moderate depression.
Unfortunately, a lot of people find meditation boring or hard to do. They complain that they feel restless and uneasy attempting to sit, be still, and meditate.
I confess: I was one of these people!
This is why I was so excited when I discovered these highly effective sensory meditations. They not only work—they also do not feel like work! It’s super fun to concentrate on your five senses—and far simpler to do than the most popular mainstream meditations, which mostly promote trying to concentrate on your breath.
Let me tell you—concentrating on taste, sound, smell, touch, and sight can actually be very enjoyable to do. And for me, it was a must that my stress-reducing method should be doable in a stress-free way!
These sensory meditations are all fun and simple good stuff—plus they are hugely effective at stopping a moving train of negative thoughts from plowing through your happy day.
Best of all, the feeling of inner peace that these tools bring comes swiftly because you can use these tools for as little as two minutes. In fact, if you’re a busy person, you will love how you can easily sneak these calming tools into your schedule. I still turn to these sensory meditations all the time when I’m on a work deadline or dealing with a surprise curveball challenge.
I’m excited to share these awesome sensory meditation tools with you so that you can learn to become a happier, more relaxed version of you. Let’s get started!