10 Unexpected Ways to Meditate During a Busy Day
Got 10 errands to run? Meeting with investors? The kids have games on separate sides of town? When you’ve barely got time to brush your teeth, it’s hard to even think about squeezing in time to meditate. However, experts argue that meditation will best serve you on your busiest days. Studies suggest that getting your zen fix will help you better manage anxiety and stress and can also play a part in increasing your focus – all of which you need when you’ve got a lot on your plate. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to dedicate a whole lot of time or effort to meditate. Here are 10 unexpected ways you can squeeze in meditation in the middle of your busy day:
- Be aware of your surroundings
Quiet your mind for a few minutes by becoming aware of your surroundings. Close your eyes, sit still and listen to the hum of the air-conditioning unit, savor the smell of freshly made coffee or fell the vibration of your car’s engine.
- Slow, deep breathing
When a lot of things are coming at you at the same time, sit still and take a few deep breaths. This will help calm your mind and body, allowing you to sift through the noise and get to the important stuff. Fill your lungs fully and slowly exhale, envisioning your mind getting rid of all the stress.
- Take a 10-minute walk
Take a slow walk around the block, the oval or just visit every room in your home. Pay attention to how your body moves – how your feet lift and plant themselves on the pavement, how your knees adjust to your weight and how your arms sway naturally.
The act of smiling releases tension from your facial muscles and invokes a good vibe. Think of something that makes you happy (a bowl of cookie-dough ice cream, perhaps?), close your eyes and let your smile come naturally.
- Be aware of your body
Body awareness is being hyperaware of the things that are going on in our body that we usually take for granted, such as the feeling of our heartbeat in our chest or the act of breathing. Find a quiet corner, plant your feet on the ground and become aware of how your spine is holding your body up against gravity.
- Do a couple of yoga poses
The mountain pose and the corpse pose are two of my favorite yoga poses because they’re really just standing and lying down. The difference is that you are aware of how your feet are planted to the ground and how your entire body is sinking to the mat. You can also try looking up the child’s pose, the half lord of the fishes pose and warrior 2 pose.
- Repeat your mantra slowly and meaningfully five times
Think of your personal mantra and repeat the sentence slowly five times in your mind (or out loud if it’s not weird). This practice helps your mind refocus on what you want to achieve and gives you a little boost of encouragement. Some examples include, “I will not leave this task unfinished,” or “I am grateful for all the blessings given to me.”
- Listen to music that soothes your mind
I have a friend who listens to heavy metal when he wants to clear his mind. The genre doesn’t matter – as long as it relaxes your mind. Take time to listen to a particular part of the song such as the harmony and the lyrics.
- Enjoy your favorite drink
When was the last time you actually enjoyed your morning cup of coffee? Allot 10 minutes for yourself every morning and enjoy your favorite brew. Feel every sip go from the cup, to your mouth, down to your stomach. A few minutes of quiet will prepare your mind for the rest of your busy day.
- Find a quiet spot and make the most out of it
Be it a quiet stairwell or a bench at the park, find yourself a quiet spot you can always go to when your mind is full of noise. You can do some yoga poses here, enjoy some quiet time or listen to a relaxing tune.