If you are struggling with fitting meditation into your daily routine, this guide will help you ease into the practice.
Change Your Mindset About Meditation
Lower your expectations of meditation. Often the reason we are impatient about meditation is we want instant gratification. Replace that expectation with a desire to experience a “slow melt” of your stress.
Be open to non-traditional meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be done in a seated position. Any activity in which you can slow down your mind, become more inwardly focused and more rooted in the present moment will pass the test for meditation.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t berate yourself for not being “good” at meditating. If you make the effort to meditate, then by default, you are good at it. It’s more a “do or not do” thing versus a “good or bad.”
Commit to slow down your mind for 10 minutes each day. You can obviously do this for longer if you want, but just take your time in building this habit by starting with 10 minutes per day.
How to easily incorporate meditation into your day. Transform some of the things you are already doing each day into mindful meditation:
Any continuous physical activity over a period of time can work. Some great choices are walking, jogging, or yoga. Chores can work too such as sweeping, folding laundry, stacking wood, and washing windows.
The way to transform any of these activities into meditation is to first focus on your breath. Observe it. Modify it. Try long inhalations, holding periods, and slow exhalations if you can. Observe how each part of your body feels. When you start to feel the exercise endorphins kick in, you might also want to express those good feelings with a big smile, a raising of the arms and/or a deep “Ahhhh” sound. Silly? Maybe. Feels good? Definitely.
The next time you shower or take a bath, create your own spa experience simply by flipping the switch in your mind. Let go of any limits. No time limits, no temperature limits. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Feel the water. Feel the sensations it gives your body. Allow the water to heal you by transforming your bathing time into a meditation. Focus on your breath and how your body feels. If thoughts involving the past or future come into your mind, observe them and send them packing by returning to your observations of your breath and body. What do you see, feel, smell, and hear?
Let go of words and labels by expressing your good feelings through meaningless sounds such as “aum,” “mmmm,” or “ahhhhh.”
Listening to music naturally brings us into the present moment. It can also bring us to good memories or daydreams of the future. You can bring more meditative elements to your music experience by noticing how you feel while you listen, play or sing. Add full diaphragmatic breathing and some cannabis too.
Some other music ideas are to pick up that instrument you haven’t played in a while. Don’t worry if you play well or not. The point is simply to become immersed in it and to enjoy it. You also may want to try singing or playing percussion along with your favorite music. Don’t have a drum? Make one. Any object can be a percussion instrument. Just start tapping! Lastly, consider going to a music based event and enjoy. You will be engaged in meditation without any effort at all. No wonder we like music so much!
Similar to the exercise, bathing, and music, immerse yourself in any project that you enjoy such as model building, knitting, car restoration, drawing, painting, crafts, etc. As you enjoy your hobby, add the elements of deep breathing, awareness of sensation, and focus on the current moment and you’ll be meditating. And in the end you’ll have a physical manifestation of that mediation.
Schedule a massage for yourself. As you enjoy the physical sensation, be aware of your breath. You may want to focus on one word such as Peace, Calm, Love, Ease, or perhaps a sound with no meaning such as Aum. As everyday thoughts enter your mind, pour them out with the simple mantra “empty the mind.”
> Meditation Techniques for the Busy or Impatient | Dumb Little Man