Too frazzled to focus at work? Meditation may help hone your attention -- even if you're new to the practice. In a University of Pennsylvania study, a group of 17 beginners showed great improvements in focus after meditating for a half-hour, five times a week for eight weeks. Regular meditation also enhanced their ability to manage tasks and stay alert while working. To ease into a practice, find a quiet place every day, and simply focus on following your breath. "Even if you're doing five minutes, three times a day, it can help a lot in getting your body accustomed to slowing down," says Vandita Kate Marchesiello, director of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association. For more guidance, she recommends picking up a meditation book, CD, or DVD, or attending a local class.
Body+Soul, October 2007