For years, I’ve heard of mediation as the answer for pretty much everything. Have a headache? Deal with anxiety (I do!)? Stressed at work? Can’t sleep? Meditate! I’ve played around with meditation sessions and even classes, but I could never get into scheduling 30 minutes of my day to sit in silence. My brain would always start moving towards my to-do list or what I wanted to eat next. I eventually gave up, thinking meditation wasn’t for me; I’d have to find another way to deal with my lingering anxiety.
Then, as meditation became even more popular, I started hearing that you in fact didn’t need to sit indian style for 30-60 minutes with a completely shutoff brain. Meditation could basically be anything or anywhere you needed it to be—just as long as you were present. Once I learned that meditation was flexible and open to personalization, I started finding simple ways to incorporate it into my busy life. Here are some of those ways:
I often bring headphones during a road trip, on a plane, or even on the train during commute. Using an app—I like Headspace—as a guide is easy and a great place to start for beginners. And no, you don’t HAVE to shut your eyes to meditate!
Waiting in line
I used to instantly jump on social media to pass the time in lines, but now I meditate! Right there in line, standing up. I take a few breaths in, hold it for another few, then slowly release. I do my best to quiet the outside noise (impossible, but I at least try to stay in my own head) and focus only on my breath. I find that counting the seconds of my breath is a solution to wandering thoughts.
After I eat
Post-meal is the perfect time to sit in silence and gratitude. Taking even 5 minutes to shut my eyes and be present can clear my head and provide a boost of energy. Just don’t do it laying down or you’ll fall sleep :).
Taking a bath
One of my favorite parts of taking a bath is the aspect of meditation. There’s something about sitting in warm water that is already tranquil, and adding presence to that experience feels really good. I used to bring books, iPads—you name it—into the bath so that I wouldn’t get bored, but now I fully embrace the moments of doing nothing but breathing. I even meditate in the shower!
Taking these mundane tasks and turning them into moments of presence is such a simple way to add meditation into a busy life. What daily tasks could you make better with a quick meditation session?