When you meditate, the key is to focus on your breath because that is the only thing happening right here, right now. You may have a mantra or prayer word; you may visualize or use a guided meditation; but the key to any meditation is to be in the here and now.

Our mind typically centers on the past and the future. As we meditate, the mind quiets down and begins to focus on one thing only: the present. Right here in the now, there are no concepts, no fears, and no problems to worry about. Fears and worries come when our minds are working, going from the past to the future, thinking about what has been and what could be. When we make our minds quiet and be in moment, fears and worries go away. That’s one of the beautiful things about meditation: it frees us from the concepts and thought structures we have created that cause anxiety in the mind. It gives a respite from worry and our burdens of the day.

Besides meditating your worries and fears away, you can practice being in the present all the time. If you are in the here and now during daily activity, you are just thinking about and focusing on the one thing you are doing at that moment. You’re keeping the thoughts of the past and future from entering your mind. If you get up and wash the dishes, you simply wash the dishes; if you sit down to write someone an email, you just concentrate on writing that e-mail. Of course, during these times, other thoughts will arise, but meditative living involves getting back to being present with what is and focusing on that and nothing more.

Some people think that if you keep pushing random thoughts and anxieties aside and ignoring them, you won’t get anything accomplished, but the opposite is true. Highly successful people are able to get lots done while “working in the zone.” I talk about this more in depth in my book/ebook Success Beyond Your Imagination: Working in the Zone.

The message I’m trying to get across is that we must be present in whatever it is that we are doing right now. For example, if you are a surgeon and you are in surgery, you concentrate and are one-hundred-percent present with your surgical instruments, patient, and procedure. If you are a police officer and other people’s lives are in your hands, you must be totally present in what you are doing, or people could die.

Of course, not all of us have such heavy responsibilities and lives that are as demanding of focus. This is why we often allow our minds to wander and not be present with what’s happening right now. Just as in meditation we return to the thing we’re focusing on (such as our breath), so, too, in everyday life when the mind wanders or when worry overtakes us, we should just go back to what’s happening right now. Don’t get upset that you’ve allowed your mind to stray, but instead come back to focusing on the present moment. Keeping those thoughts of the past and future from entering into the present will keep fears and anxieties from stressing your life.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker and has a blog at http://www.Meditation-Enlightenment.com He is the creator of the weekly Meditation For Health Podcast, available at http://www.MeditationForHealthPodcast.com He has a weekly podcast that explores the world of Happiness at http://www.HappinessPodcast.org He also creates a weekly podcast that explores the world of Enlightenment available at http://www.EnlightenmentPodcast.com If you would like to contact Dr. Puff, his e-mail address is DrPuff@cox.net