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My Top 3 Tricks for More Meditation!


Happy Halloween Eve!

What’s Halloween without a few tricks, right?

Full disclosure: I am a pretty fierce trickster. Anyone close to me will back this up. I never shy away from an opportunity to be a little mischievous or play a little practical (and harmless, of course) joke. I love acting the Fool for April Fool’s Day. I am noticing that I need to up my game each year because people are now coming to expect a little trick from me!

So, with that playful spirit in mind, let’s look at how we can “trick” ourselves into more meditation!

I hear very often from well-meaning people that they don’t have time to meditate or they just forget to make the time to practice.

I know, I get it. It’s hard to be mindful about wanting to be more mindful!

Here are my Top 3 Tricks for More Meditation:


 1.  Take 5!

You hear in the movies the Director saying “Take 5”—meaning take a five-minute break. Here, when I say “Take 5” I mean take 5 deep belly breaths. This takes less than 1 minute to do (I know because I’ve timed it)! Quickly, let’s review what a belly breath is:  You take a deep breath in through your nose, and as you do this you fill up your belly like a balloon with air. On your exhalation (also through your nose) you let the belly come back in slightly, letting out the breath. You do this 5 times—meaning 5 full inhalations and 5 full exhalations. Don’t stop before you’ve done 5. You would be so amazed at how quickly the biochemical changes start to happen in the mind/ body with just 5 breaths. I do this particular exercise every time I give a presentation now, and it is undeniable how quickly people report they feel a change. They feel calmer and more focused. Just with 5 breaths. Truly amazing.


 2.  Dead Space

I’m not referring to some sort of zombie reference here. In this case, Dead Space (a term coined by Mark Thornton) refers to all those times throughout the day where there is really nothing happening. Even for those with the busiest of schedules there are always moments of Dead Space. What do I mean? Here are a few examples: Waiting for people to gather for a meeting. You are sitting in your chair waiting. Most people are either looking at their phones or talking. This is a great moment to connect with your breath and center yourself in your chair. Another few examples: Waiting in line at the store, waiting for an elevator, being in an elevator, washing your hands, etc. You get the idea. There are a ton of these moments in a day. The problem is that we are often so focused on the next thing on our to-do list that we are likely not being present. We are thinking about the next thing instead. Try noticing these moments of Dead Space and practice coming back to the awareness of your breath. You will likely see that you are much more prepared and focused when you reach your next destination.


 3.  3-second Rule

Here I don’t mean some version of dropping all that yummy chocolate candy on the ground but being able to eat it if it only touches the ground for 3 seconds. Nope, I don’t mean that at all. What this one refers to is waiting before you answer a question. Wait. Just take a breath, let it go, and then answer. Oftentimes we are so quick to react, and by taking that one breath we buy ourselves a few seconds of thoughtfulness. Often there is an even better answer than your first knee-jerk response. You are also more focused on listening and attuning yourself to the other person. This is a wonderful skill to practice, and it lets people know that you are truly interested in what they are saying.

Have a Happy Halloween everyone! These tricks are designed to be an informal way to have a practice of Mindfulness, where the ultimate treat is more connection to yourself and those you love.   Enjoy and be safe out there!




1500 Jackson St. #715
Dallas, TX 75201.
Phone: (214) 986-5101
Fax: (214) 272-9533


Melissa Marks Garner is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Yoga Teacher and has over 13 years experience.