We all know the importance of fostering a daily meditation practice, but sometimes life gets in the way. Yet, it’s usually when we’re at our busiest that we need this calming ritual the most.
The good news is that you don’t need to dedicate hours each day to meditation. In fact, the beauty of the practice is that you can do it almost anywhere and at any time.
With these short practices, you’ll be able to evoke a meditative state whenever you need some calm or creativity in your life. Sure it might not be the same as spending a good hour in a silent, peaceful room entering a really deep meditation. But if you are pressed for time there are still benefits to be had by introducing a certain level of meditation into your daily routine.
All it takes is a conscious effort to connect with your breath, your surroundings and your intentions.
Many people prefer to meditate in the morning. Not only does the practice set you up for the day, but getting into meditation mode as soon as you wake up means there’s no excuse to put it off.
Have a hectic morning routine? Then why not try tea meditation. Bringing mindfulness to simple activities like preparing and drinking tea or coffee help train you to direct attention consciously, while also promoting calm before a busy day.
Chores may be boring, but it’s their repetitive nature that make them the perfect hook for a meditation practice. Whether you’re folding laundry, washing the dishes or mopping the floor, take a moment to count your breaths. You’ll soon find that the repetitive nature of the task helps keep you grounded.
As an extra bonus, meditating during your chores may well increase your enjoyment of them. As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains: “To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them…I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands.”
The solution to fitting meditation into your daily routine is right under your nose, literally.
Reminding yourself to breathe deeply and consciously – wherever you are – is the first step to becoming more mindful.
How often do you go for a walk by yourself? For most people, the answer is not very often. But walking isn’t just great exercise – it also offers the perfect opportunity for meditation.
Take a stroll through your neighborhood or favorite park and you’ll soon find yourself begin to unwind. As you walk, focus on the sensation of moving one foot in front of the other, as well as the steady rhythm of your breath.
Don’t have time for a leisurely stroll? Try fitting in a quick walk during your lunch break, or try to run errands on foot rather than by car.
Cooking doesn’t just provide nourishment for your body – it can help soothe the soul too. Instead of rushing the process, take time to carefully prep your ingredients, focusing on your breath as you go. Extend this mindfulness to the experience of eating, and you’ll find that you become much more aware of the food you’re consuming, and its effect on your body.
Make the most of water’s calming effects by practicing mindfulness in the bath or shower. To create a meditation haven, add some essential oils to your bath, light some candles, and put on your favorite relaxing music. Then simply breathe, foster presence, and observe your body in the hot bath. The water should initiate a drop in body temperature which will induce your sleep signals – an added bonus if you struggle to nod off at night.
Meditation might be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re on the treadmill, but your workout can actually offer the perfect opportunity for mindfulness. Whether you’re lifting weights, doing cardio, or in a yoga class, try to match your movements with the flow of your breath.
Practicing gratitude has been shown to supercharge your mood, improve your health and boost your mental well-being. So before you go to sleep, why not list the things you’re grateful for? This simple act of positive thinking allows you to meditate on all the things you have to be happy about, as well as focus on tomorrow’s intentions.
A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand. At Fresh Body Mind we believe in the power of positivity and superfoods to help us operate at our best and of course at our happiest!
Read more of our Mind blogs here for advice on positivity, mindfulness and more.
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