We live busy lives and, for some, the idea of meditation can seem time-consuming, a little intimidating or just too spiritual. Luckily, meditation can be very simple, and extremely helpful (especially during that time of the month when emotions are high).
Whether you want to go deep into a mind-body yoga practice or simply reduce stress, meditation can play a role and here a few meditations you can do pretty much anywhere, anytime.
Meditation and breathing work hand in hand and the simplest of all meditations is to take a few deep breaths. The difference between just taking a deep breath and meditating is that when you take that deep breath, try to block everything else out. You’ll find, right away, that’s much easier said than done. Try to focus on how your breath sounds and feels and play around with longer inhales than exhales and vice versa. Experiment until you find your heart rate slows and you feel a sense of calm.
Take that simple meditation to the next level with a counting practice. Start by breathing just as you are, don’t change or force anything but start to count up for the length of your inhale and count down for the length of your exhale. Slowly start to even out the count and then gradually increase the length of both your inhale and exhale. You’ll notice that it’s pretty hard to worry about tomorrow’s morning meeting or plan your grocery list while you’re busy counting.
Another way to clear your mind is to focus on a picture. There are several forms of visualization meditations but, again, start simple and picture a blank slate. That could be a canvas, a pristine lake or even a football field. Whenever you notice paint on the canvas, a boat on the lake or players on the field, clear everything away to picture your blank slate again. Continue for several minutes until you gain some peace of mind.
Ideally, all of the above happen with closed eyes but that’s not a requirement so keep these tools in mind anytime stress creeps into your life. Breathing and counting are even perfectly safe (and undetectable) to do on your commute or during an argument with a loved one.