We all know the benefits of meditating: reduced stress, less anxiety, lower blood pressure, healthier digestive system, better mood…the list goes on. Yet, despite all that research, we’re aware that for many, the practice remains unapproachable. Let’s change that. Meditation doesn’t need to mean silently sitting on a bare floor for an hour. Instead, incorporate your meditation practice into your everyday routine.
Select your activity. Choose something you do daily. It could be your commute, your morning jog, or your morning coffee moment. Most importantly, pick something you can stick with. You don’t want to be thinking about the activity. It should be something you do automatically every day.
Set a timer. When you first start your practice, don’t stretch yourself too far. Two minutes is plenty. The deeper you get into your meditation practice, the longer you’ll go. The span shouldn’t feel challenging or uncomfortable.
Focus your mind. If you have a racey mind, which you struggle to keep calm, find a guided or sound meditation to listen to. This isn’t cheating: it’s simply assisting you as you try to focus your mind. Settle into your chosen activity, tune into your guidance or music, and start to focus on your breath.
Breathe Deeply. Consciously breathe in and out. Breathe deeper than you’ve breathed all day. And continue to do this. Elongate your inhale and exhale until they last for the same amount of time. Be mindful of how it makes you feel, and how it moves your body. Breathing with intention affects your autonomic nervous system, which works to keep you calm and grounded.
Repeat Your Mantra. Throughout the meditation, either count your breaths, or repeat a mantra. If you choose a mantra, then make sure you sync it with your breath.
Watch Your Thoughts. If your mind starts to wander, don’t get annoyed with yourself. Watch the thoughts float through your mind, but don’t cling to them. They will come and go, and when you notice yourself drifting, bring your attention back to your mantra and breath.
Do it Again. To reap the benefits of your meditation practice, you need to make sure you repeat it. Ideally every day. Put it in your schedule to make sure you don’t forget it or choose to pass over it.
Incorporating a few minutes of meditating into your day shouldn’t be intimidating or unfeasible. A daily mini meditation will improve your mood and health — no crossed legs or gongs required.