There’s a common misconception that you need incense, a meditation corner, crossed legs and a deep “Omm” to achieve mental bliss. But there are other ways to incorporate basic meditation techniques throughout your day and into your daily routine. And because mindfulness can be practiced in many ways, you DO have time to meditate, you’ve just been thinking about it all wrong. Reaping the benefits of meditation is much easier and way more accessible than you think.
Here are 4 easy meditation techniques that can help you start your day off right.
1. Focused Breathing
When you control your breath it can be a useful tool to achieve a relaxed and clear state of mind. One of the most basic methods to meditate is to focus on your breathing. How we breath can help control how we feel. If you can consciously control your breath, then you can be more in control of your mind. If your breath is calm, so is your mind. If your breath is agitated and irregular, your mind would reflect that as well. The easiest way to practice controlling your breathing is to simply count your breaths or “breath counting.” Inhale and exhale deeply and evenly five times, counting each breath to yourself. After your fifth breath, start another set of five breaths again. The point is to never count higher than five. If you end up counting seven, then you’ll know your attention has wandered and lost control of your mind and breath. Do this exercise for 2 minutes.
Best time to practice: Just after waking up, while you’re still in bed
2. Coming To Your Senses
The practice of meditation can be described as a way of “coming to your senses.” Bring your full attention to your body and take note of all your senses: what is your body feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling? Focusing on the senses is a therapeutic way of getting out of your head. When you’re focusing on the present moment and enjoying what it has to offer, you can prevent anxiety and the stress of thinking about the things you cannot control.
Best time to practice: In the shower or bath
3. Warm Up With A Mantra
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you need to change the world. But how about one mantra to change the attitude for the day? Choose one personality trait you want to exercise and say that trait out loud, repeating it for 2 minutes. For example, if you choose “patience,” you would slowly repeat the word “patience” over and over again for 2 minutes. There’s a power to verbalizing a word – and hearing it – that can help evoke the very mood, thought and emotion it stands for. If listening to a song can change your mood, imagine how programming a specific word – and the sound of it – into your mind can help you set your intent and actions for the day.
Best time to practice: On your commute to work
4. Visualizing Your Day
Visualization can be a powerful tool that mentally and emotionally prepares you for upcoming situations. Professional athletes and performers are known for using visualization to get them in the zone before they have to perform. Being able to see what you want brings you closer to your desired positive result and helps you let go of the negativity associated with the challenge in front of you. There are even physical health benefits associated with this technique, including easing depression, as well as relieving headaches or chronic pain. Take a few minutes to visualize how you will successfully accomplish one thing in your day. Think of watching this accomplishment like a movie in your mind. Build out the scene – what do you want? How do you feel when it is accomplished?? Take 2 minutes for this exercise and then turn it into a real life action!
Best time to practice: When you’re at work, before you start your day