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Think you can’t meditate? Try flower gazing

This form of meditation can help even the most distracted person work on their concentration.

OK, so you know that meditation can help reduce anxiety—but did you know meditation can even help with everyday stress? Meditation can help you learn to manage stress and have fewer negative emotions, as well as help you build your patience.

You probably also know that sitting still and in silence for long stretches can feel like torture if you don’t have Jedi-like concentration. One form to try if you struggle to concentrate is flower-gazing meditation—literally, looking at a flower. It’s a Taoist practice that can be a great form of mindfulness meditation, especially for beginners who may need visual stimulus to keep their minds from wandering. Here’s how to start flower gazing:

1. Choose a single flower that you find pretty or interesting, rather than a bouquet, which can deter your focus.

2. Find a quiet, indoor space to practice. Sit in a chair or cross-legged position on a comfortable cushion on the floor, and set the flower about a foot in front of you and at eye level.

3. Gaze at the flower with relaxed eyes. Blink normally, and relax your facial muscles (smiling gently may help this happen).

4. Look at the flower as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen one. Instead of focusing on the flower as a whole, notice its shapes, colors, and scents. If your attention wanders, don’t worry. Simply notice that this has happened and then bring your thoughts back to the flower in front of you.

5. After 5-10 minutes have passed (set a timer on your phone if that will help you focus), close your eyes for a about a minute. Notice if you can still see the flower in front of you. Then take several slow, deep breaths and bring attention back into your own body. Open your eyes and notice the effect of the practice.