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Brokers turn to meditation techniques in stressful market.

Byline: Jennifer LeClaire

What do you do in a real estate market that is seeing sales plummet month after month with no end in sight? More South Florida brokers are turning to meditation to relieve the stress that goes along with a busted real estate bubble.

"Sellers are anxious and they are making the brokers anxious," said Mordy Levine, founder of Meditation for Wellbeing, a meditation training firm in Delray Beach, Fla.

"It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel is so long," he continued. "Meditation is a way to calm the mind and reduce stress brokers deal with on a daily basis."

Levine works with brokers, among others, to help them deal with the stress of the current real estate market. In addition to stress reduction, the supposed benefits of this ancient practice include peace of mind, enhanced concentration and creativity, and better physical health.

Meditation usually involves turning your attention to a single focus, such as your breath, a candle, a sound or some visualization technique.

"Stress and anxiety come at you in a number of different ways," Levine said. "One way is thinking about something that happened in the past -- or that hasn't happened yet -- and getting overly concerned about it. Those thoughts trigger emotional responses of anxiety, fear or anger. Meditation helps you control those."

Monica Friedlander, a broker at Coldwell Banker whose specialty is upscale homes in Boca Raton, was introduced to meditation at one of Levine's recent seminars. She decided to try meditation because she was "very stressed out" watching deals fall apart and anticipating the associated income loss.

Like most brokers, Friedlander still battles market anxiety, but she said Levine's breathing techniques help her calm down in the face of stress. She meditates for about five minutes each morning, and then throughout the day as the need arises.

"I learned that we react to chatter that goes on in our heads and that chatter can create anxiety," Friedlander explained. "Basically, it's worry over things we have no control over. I learned that getting into a quiet place and calming down helps me let go of those thoughts. It also helps me sleep better."

Patti Ceravolo, principal of Illustrated Luxury, a real estate brokerage in Palm Beach Gardens, wasn't a stranger to meditation when she went to Levine's seminar. But she said the seminar was a welcome reinforcement.

"Mordy's class reminded me how important it is to meditate," said Ceravolo, who meditates at least four times a week. "It clears my mind, body and soul. I feel more creative and it clears the static."

Levine is holding meditation seminars across South Florida. The next installment of his "Meditation for Stress" series continues at Lynn University in Boca Raton through January 22.
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Author:LeClaire, Jennifer
Publication:The Real Deal
Date:Jan 9, 2009
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