As we are constantly bombarded by external distractions in our everyday life, refocusing our energy inward and quieting our mind can be hugely challenging.
I was always intimidated by the concept of meditation despite the fact that I knew just how beneficial it was. I had always imagined meditation to be a drawn out process, requiring a great deal of time, effort, dedication, and discipline. Because of my crazy lifestyle, I never once thought that I could fit this powerful yet gentle practice into my schedule.
I quickly discovered that there were little ways I could fit meditation into my life without much effort or commitment. Best of all, I didn’t have to be in a quiet dark room chanting with my legs crossed. I learned to meditate while driving, sitting in a meeting, walking in the park–heck, I even did it when I ate dinner. It became easier each time, and I found myself looking forward to it everyday.
So how can you meditate anywhere?
Each time you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, distracted, tired, or stressed, It’s important to re-connect with yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally through the process of meditation. Although there are several forms of meditation, they all have at least one thing in common and that’s the ability to reduce stress by refocusing the mind.
Here are some simple ways you can incorporate daily meditation from practically anywhere, anytime despite your busy schedule:
- Check your posture. When faced with a stressful situation, we oftentimes unknowingly clench or hold up our muscles such as the ones in our shoulders, neck, and jaw. It’s important to be mindful of every single muscle one at a time, and begin to relax each one.
- Be aware of your breathing. Stress can greatly alter the way we breathe causing us to take in shorter, shallower breathes. This can in turn lead to added stress, hyperventilation, and anxiety. It’s important to focus on your breathing and take a deep, diaphragmatic breath each time. This should be a natural process so make sure not to force it but rather take it slow until it becomes a habit.
- Do not try to fight the thoughts. The process of calming ourselves involves allowing thoughts to come and go in our mind as they please. Trying to fight or dismiss these thoughts can actually make them stronger. The best way to deal with them is to focus intently on your breathing and the way the air is flowing in and out of your body. This will cause thoughts to fade as your mind starts to get quieter and quieter. In time with consistent practice, this process does get easier.
- Focus on each of your senses. Our five senses send signals and information to our brain as we use them. If we were to focus on each sense and mindfully analyze how something smelled, felt, sounded, looked, or tasted, we could easily distract ourselves enough from negative thoughts and/or feelings. Next time you take a bite out of your breakfast muffin, really analyze how it tastes, feels, looks, and smells, even how it sounds when you eat it.
- Make a humming sound. I know this sounds strange but humming can actually help release trapped energy within the body and can have a very therapeutic effect on the mind. It can also help you feel more grounded and can help calm your nervous system. Don’t believe me? try it for yourself, and thank me later!
You can meditate anywhere, anytime
Meditation is a journey. You aren’t going to get it right each and every time but the more you practice it, the easier it will become. The methods listed above are perfect for anyone who seeks to combat stress, become more mindful of their surrounding, or simply clear their minds from the daily clutter.
I have found that meditating just before an exam or prior to receiving any kind of information, helps me focus and retain the details more easily. Not to mention, the process of clearing our mind from pointless chatter helps to foster our creativity while allowing us to become fully engaged in the task at hand. Who wouldn’t want that?