Meditation is a helpful coping mechanism for stress as it slows down your nervous system, allows you to focus on the present, and can improve memory, patience, and creativity, among numerous other benefits. The practice of meditating is often thought of as sitting still in a silent place, however, the practice can actually go well beyond this concept. Meditation is simply bringing your awareness to the present moment with acceptance and without judgment.
Here are a few ways you can bring meditation into your daily life that go beyond sitting still:
Be mindful during a meal
Often, people feel like they don’t have the time in their day to step away from their busy lives in order to find the time to meditate. Incorporating meditation into something you do everyday like eating can be a great way to make time for yourself. Many of us are often multitasking while we’re eating, either watching TV or scrolling through our phones. Instead, try sitting at a meal without distractions. Pay attention to the flavors you’re experiencing and how the meal is making you feel. This can allow you to fully enjoy the food in front of you and slow down to really process the complexity of food and remind you where you are, and what you are doing, grounding yourself in the present moment.
Practicing Box Breathing
The square method is a super simple and quick meditative practice that can be done in 4 steps. Visualize a square as you try the following:
This is a helpful breathing technique that can be utilized anytime or anywhere.
What is your favorite color? Now, from the moment you get up in the morning and are ready to take on the day, try to keep an eye out for this color. You can do this during walks outside, throughout your morning routine, or at any time throughout your day. This will keep you mindful of your objective and can leave you feeling accomplished by the end of the day, connected with your surroundings, and grounded in the world around you.
Just being aware of your presence on earth is as simple as meditation can be. During your day, listen to your inner monologue, notice when your mind has wandered when you are using negative self-talk, or creative ideas come up. Just acknowledging the presence of your thoughts connects you with your mind and makes you more aware of what you are experiencing.
Pick a chore or a part of your routine that you usually rush through, do on autopilot, or often try to distract yourself from. Bring awareness to the chore by paying attention to the colors that you’re noticing, the sounds that are being made, how your body is feeling and what it is doing. If you find that your mind is wandering, acknowledge them and bring your attention back to what you are doing.
Whenever you bring awareness into what you are doing, you are being mindful. Finding ways you can slow down and incorporate meditation in your practice will feel so rewarding and allow you to be less reactive and overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
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