10 Ways to Sneak Meditation into Your Everyday Life
Whether your stress is job-related or related to the coronavirus pandemic, or both, daily meditation can help you cope without having to change your schedule.
Try eating a meal alone
When was the last time you did this? According to Rebecca Weible, founder of Yo Yoga! in New York City, eating alone without people or your phone, tablet, or a book creates real awareness. “Take the time to notice each bite, including the taste and texture of your food,” she says. “This is also great for digestion and portion control.” (Did you know mindful eating can also help you lose weight?)
Unplug and take a walk
Sometimes slowing down is as easy as unplugging from the digital world, including your phone, social media, and email and taking in your surroundings. Weible says to take notice of each step: “The first and last part of your foot to hit the ground with each step, your stride, and your pace. See how long you can stay present.” Running is also a great way to unplug.
Try out some yoga moves
Anyone can do yoga, trust us! “Yoga is a moving meditation as you are encouraged to be mindful of each part of your body in every pose and how you are moving from pose to pose,” says Weible. In yoga, you are forced to focus on your breathing and muscle control, which makes you totally present in the moment—a key to good meditation. If you’ve never meditated before, check out this beginner’s guide to meditation.
Really wake up in the morning
Sure, we all wake up in the morning, but before you hop out of bed for that shower or cup of coffee, Scott Rogers, principal advisor at Innergy Meditation in Miami Beach, suggests you really wake before getting out of bed, which means sitting up and taking in your surroundings. “Notice the lighting, the temperature, how you feel,” says Rogers, “Close or lower your eyes for a few breaths—for a few minutes—and rest your attention on the sensations of your body breathing.”
Whenever you walk through a door, take a deep breath
How many doors do you walk through each day? Probably a lot. Another way to bring focus and calm is to take a deep breath every time you walk through the door. This forces you to look around, see where you are, and again bring focus into your daily life. “Such moments insert an important wedge of awareness that helps reduce stress and steady the mind,” says Rogers.
Use Post-It notes
There is no wrong way or right way to meditate. A super-easy way is using Post-It notes. suggests Jackie Itzkowitz and Joel Granik, co-founders of Floating Lotus, a centre for wellness in New York City. “Put a Post-It note on your mirror in your bathroom to remind yourself to think about something you are grateful for,” explain Itzkowitz and Granik. “The fact you can walk, the exciting day you have ahead of you, or even the fact you are alive and well. Taking a moment to be mindful and aware of yourself and the things around you counts as meditating.” Or, try to write down a few things you’re grateful for each day in a journal.
Check your breathing
This is a really easy one and can be done anywhere. “Take a moment to sit up tall with both feet on the floor, hands in your lap. You can close the eyes or leave them open,” suggests Weible. “Take a deep breath in through your nose counting to three, then let it out through your nose counting to three. Take another breath in counting to four, let it out counting to four. Repeat this pattern using a five-count. You can take as many breaths as you like, but three mindful breaths can go a long way towards making you feel less stressed and more at ease.”
This another meditation practice you can try anywhere. “Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to our present moment experience and there is no time when we cannot be practicing,” says Rogers. “But, we tend to forget or feel too busy to do so.” So literally, slow down and smell the roses. (Also, you might want to check out these apps for soothing your mind.)
Try switching hands
Most people have one dominant hand so Rogers suggests switching it up. “When you are ready to eat, place your fork or spoon in your non-dominant hand for your first bite,” he says, “This will slow down the process and engage attention. As you take your first bite, notice the sensory richness of sight, smell, and touch.”
Forget about worrying
This one is easier said than done but Itzkowitz and Granik say worrying is the one thing that can bring your meditating down. “Actually worrying about doing meditation wrong is the only thing you can do wrong,” they advise. “Be compassionate with yourself and let yourself relax.”
Next, make sure you never make these meditation mistakes that secretly stress you out.