In recent years the benefits of exercise and nutrition have become common knowledge and are widely accepted as truth. It’s becoming to seem more likely that it will only be a matter of time before the positive impacts of meditation sit alongside them as a staple for a balanced lifestyle.
Maybe you’re not sure if it will work for you. It seems ‘mushy’ and like it requires too much commitment. That’s understandable, most people that practice meditation feel that way at first.
It’s not all closed eyes and “ohmms.” Meditation is also practiced in everyday activities and in small doses. How you practice it is completely up to you.
Imagine controlling your negative thoughts and emotions and being a calmer and more collected version of yourself. Picture ‘bad days’ being more manageable and your usual reaction to life's events being more positive.
Meditation is having awareness and control of your thoughts. It helps us better deal with pressure, anxiety and excitement. A small investment of time into meditation makes for a more productive life. If you’re hesitant to get started, here are some small ways to experience a big impact from meditation.
Try Small Doses
Like starting a new diet or training program, going ‘all out’ too soon can make meditation feel unachievable. Set small time frames for meditation and go from there. 2 minutes will become 5, 10, 15 and then 20 minutes! Let it happen naturally.
Meditate in the Moment
Observe easy opportunities to focus on your breath. Maybe you’re in a meeting that you didn’t need to attend or on hold with the DMV. These times can be frustrating and can be the perfect opportunity to get some meditation in!
If you’re in a situation that allows, close your eyes. Picture your lungs filling up and then emptying slowly.
Athletes use mindfulness and meditation as part of their mental training. While you stretch and mobilize before your workout, lie on your back or sit cross-legged. Take a deep breath and let your chest rise and drop. Visualize and focus before starting your workout. It will improve your attitude towards training and you’ll perform better.
Mastering the Mundane
Everyday mundane activities make our minds wander and dwell on whatever else is happening in our lives. While brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, pay attention to the task and perform it with intention. Be present with it and appreciate how long it takes.
While you prepare to sleep or before you get up in the morning, take a moment. Lie on your back, rest your hands on your stomach and focus on your body relaxing. Count the seconds of each breath. Each time your mind wanders back to your situation, catch yourself and refocus on your breath. Don’t be surprised if this helps you drift to sleep easier or helps you hop out of bed in a better mood!
Do Less to Achieve More
Don’t want to entirely change your schedule to make room for meditation? Instead of making excuses, make a small adjustment to the amount of time you spend watching TV, on the computer or even go to bed 10 minutes earlier. Use the extra 5-10 minutes for quiet time. When you get back to your activities you’ll feel re-energized and achieve even more!
Don’t Do it Alone
Try starting with the Headspace app. It’s a great tool for guiding you through and reaching deeper states of meditation. It will also help control the length of time spent practicing.
If you’re a Team WAG member, keep an eye out for the weekly mindfulness practice that your coaches include in your weekly check-in. These practices are invaluable to your long term success!
How do you practice meditation and how has it developed and improved your life? Share your experience using #TeamWAG!