At the end of a long day toward the end of a long week, I was sitting in my office trying to gather myself together so I could go home. There were emails to answer, phone calls to return, notes to finish and plans to make for the next day.

Did you ever see Hitchcock's The Birds? My brain resembled that room in the attic filled with frantic, flapping, nasty birds desperate for a way out. As soon as I started one thing I was pulled to do something else, then another. Result: Nothing was getting done. My usual ability to focus was fried. My solution was to give up, leave the mess on the desk and walk out.

Like Scarlet O'Hara I told myself I'd think about it tomorrow… after a good night's rest.

That's one way to deal with being stuck in mental over-drive. Better yet is a mini-meditation break as suggested by Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of "Be the Change – How Meditation Can Transform You and the World." In an article in the Huffington Post they wrote:

…here are three mini-meditations, moments to just stop and breathe
and remember why you are here. A moment to check yourself out, to look
within, and to find what is really meaningful to you. You can get it
together even when you think it is all falling apart.

Mini-meditations can be done on a train, walking down the street, at
an airport, standing at a bus stop, in an elevator, while sitting in the
bathroom (often the only place you can be alone!).

All it takes is a minute, one refreshing minute, to just stop and breathe, collect your thoughts and get back in touch with what's really important. Here's how:

1. Mini Breath

Sit comfortably with your back straight. Take a deep breath and let
it go. Begin to silently count at the end of each out breath: Inhale…
exhale… count one, inhale… exhale… two, inhale… exhale… three. Then
start at one again. Just three breaths and back to one. Simply following each
breath in and silently counting. So simple. Do this as many times as you want,
eyes open or closed, breathing normally.

2. Mini Walking

You can do this walking along a country lane, a city street, in the office
or the garden. You can walk slowly, normal or fast, whatever feels right. As
you walk become aware of your walking, of the movement of your body and the
rise and fall of your feet. Become aware of your breath and see if you can
bring both your breathing and your walking together. Just walk and breathe with
awareness for a few minutes.

3. Instant
Letting Go

Find a quiet place to sit, have a straight back, and take a deep
breath and let it go. Then quietly repeat to yourself: "My body is at ease
and relaxed… my heartbeat is normal… my mind is calm and peaceful… my
heart is open and loving." Keep repeating this until you have let go of
the tension and are at peace. Then take a deep breath and have a smile on your

After dinner, I went to bed early. Those thoughts were still buzzing in my head so I tried mini-meditation #1. Before I got to my tenth breath, a window opened and the birds flew out. With a clear, clean room in my brain I could go to sleep. Lights out.

Read the entire article: Three Mini-Meditations to Help You Through Your Day (or Night)

And here purely for your entertainment, the great Alfred Hitchcock on The Birds:

Photo courtesy of ladybugbkt via Flickr