If you’re interested in reducing stress or want a quick way to decompress in the middle of a hectic day, meditation might be you. Most people think that they have to spend an hour or more sitting in an uncomfortable position in order to find their zen, but the truth is, meditating is as simple as you make it. Here are my top 3 tips to make meditation easy, so you can reduce stress and decompress.
The first step is to find a quiet place to practice. There’s nothing worse than sitting down, and then all of a sudden the phone rings, somebody knocks on your door, or you’re interrupted by a family member. Let people know that you’re busy. Turn off any alarms or notifications, put a sign on your door, and/or leave the building entirely, so that you can have a peaceful and serene practice. If there’s a park or a beach nearby, take advantage. Getting out in nature is a great way to get your mind to calm down even before you start meditating.
Get Into a Comfortable Position
The traditional meditation position is sitting cross-legged, but if that isn’t comfortable for you, there’s no need to suffer. Try one of these positions instead:
- Sitting on a chair or couch
- Laying on a bed or in the grass
- Sitting in a straddle position with your feet wide leaning on a big pillow
- Sitting with your back against a tree or wall
The best choice is whatever works best for your body. Try one and if you don’t like it change to another.
Experiment with Different Methods
There are so many different ways to meditate! Choose one that feels right for you:
- Guided Meditation – Listen to a recorded meditation. There are a pluthera of free options on YouTube, iTunes, or Google Play. Search for one that will fit the time-frame you have. Then, just hit play.
- Breathing Meditation – Close your eyes and clear your mind of any thoughts. Focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body. If you get distracted by a thought or a sound, no worries. Just acknowledge it and bring your attention back to your breath.
- Music Meditation – Pop in your earbuds and allow yourself to relax to soft, ambient melodies. Make sure there are no lyrics so you can simply be present.
Use the Time You Have
If you have five minutes, take 5 minutes. If you only have two, use two. The point is that you don’t need much time to bring yourself back to the present. That’s the purpose of meditation, after-all. It’s not just to give yourself a respite from the chaos of life, but rather, to bring you back to yourself when you’re feeling out of sorts. Try this trick when you think you have no time:
- Set a timer for 60 seconds.
- Close your eyes and focus on relaxing the muscles of your face. This includes the area between your eyebrows, your temples, your cheeks, and your lips.
- See if you can relax a bit more with every exhale.
- If any distractions arise (i.e., the phone rings, someone tries to get your attention, etc.), try to stick with it. Remember that it’s only one minute. You can attend to whatever it is soon.
When the alarm goes off, check in with yourself. Do you feel a bit more relaxed? Could you take another minute to do it again? Most people find that they enjoy the minute so much that they crave more. It’s sort of like working out. Once you get used to doing it every day, life just doesn’t feel the same without it! So, what do you say?
I hope you enjoyed these tips to make your meditation practice easy. Try the minute trick out today to get a little taste of what meditation can do for you, then add meditation to your daily routine to reap the benefits. Good luck!
Stronger for Today,
Coach & Digital Media Specialist
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