Think you don’t have time to meditate? Think again.
Here are 3 simple practices you can use right now in under 5 minutes to achieve calming and centering results:
Take 5-10 deep breaths in and out while paying attention to the breath in the body.
Feel the breath moving through the body. Feel the cool air pass in and out of your nose. The breath on your upper lip. Your belly expand against your waistband and then soften towards the spine. Or your chest expand and then gently hug in towards your heart and lungs.
Figure out where you can most easily feel the breath in the body and use this as your physical anchor point. Revisit your physical anchor any time you need a quick break to relax and refresh.
You can practice this in the car, waiting in line at the store, or in meetings.
2. Count your breaths
Count your breaths backwards, starting from 10, 20, or 50 depending on how much time you have. (Twenty breathes takes me around 3 minutes).
Repeat the count silently to yourself with each part of the breath. For example: “Inhale 20, exhale 20, inhale 19, exhale 19“.
If your mind starts to wander, gently bring yourself back and start at the top again. It’s ok if you don’t make it to zero – it’s not a test or a race. If you think you might fall asleep, set a timer or alarm so you can relax and focus on your breath. Or try it right before bed for a great night’s sleep.
3. Feel your feet
When your walk, pay attention to the feeling and sound of your footfall.
Feel the movement of your foot – how the weight rocks from your heel to ball of your foot with each step. Notice how and where your foot makes contact with the ground – does the back of the heel strike first or the mid-heel? Is you step heavy or light? Feel into the rhythm of your steps – is it consistent or arrhythmic?
There are no right or wrong answers – the only goal is to pay attention. Connecting the mind to the movement of the body will help you stay in the moment and not get carried away thinking or worrying.
Use these three short practices every day to build meditation into your life. You’ll reap the calming and centering benefits of meditating and be more present in your life.
Do you have a meditation practice?
What are your favorite techniques to get calm quickly?