Here’s some good news about meditation: there is scientific research that suggests “practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.” Pretty great, right?
In order to reap the benefits of meditation, one must set aside a portion of time and dedicate themselves to a bit of introspection. Don’t worry, there are ways to make do with the time you have. Below you’ll find four simple ways to meditate throughout your day by being in the moment, no matter when that may be.
If you spend any time of your day listening to someone speak, then you can do this. Focus on the words the person in front of you is saying – not just the sounds the letters make, but the meaning behind the words, the images they conjure. Hear the sound of the person’s voice. How does their voice make you feel? Note your own posture and body language. How are you presenting yourself to the speaker? Do you seem engaged? Inviting? Do your best not to think about things to say, but remain actively listening for as long as possible. Paying attention to as many elements of the moment as you can may help to align your focus.
Whether you’re stuck in traffic or cruising alone down the highway, there are ways to meditate on the road. Stay focused and alert (you are driving, after all). Keep your mind from wandering onto different things or days, but stay in the here and now. Consider the way you interact with your vehicle and remain hyper-focused on the way you move your car or truck. Mind other drivers and do not allow them to engage you emotionally – this includes not yelling at anybody who may cut you off. Enjoy your journey, as long as it may be.
Most people would probably say that chores are not particularly relaxing. Guess what? They can be… Like the listening and driving concepts above, the trick here is being present. Pay attention to your breathing as you move from room to room and chore to chore. This may sound silly, but allow yourself to experience the sensations of each chore. Doing dishes? Smell the soap and feel the warm water around your hands. Vacuuming or dusting? Allow your motions to be purposed and controlled. When you find repetition in the movements, you may also find yourself in a state of meditation.
Tip: Try playing some music you can enjoy while you clean and let it fill your home as you complete your tasks.
This one should be the easiest. Who doesn’t already enjoy eating? Start by simply looking at what you’re about to enjoy. Try feeling grateful for both the opportunity to eat and the hands that prepared it for you – all of the hands, from beginning to preparation. Chew and swallow your food slowly, savoring every detail. Try to consider how it tastes and how each element of any particular bite flavors your palette. Don’t rush the meal and remember to breathe between bites.
The trick to any meditation activity, whether it’s a simple one like those listed above, or a complex yoga routine, is to be present. Mind the things around you and try to consider the way they affect you. If you can do that, you may find that you have all the time you want to meditate every single day.