Three Easy Ways to Meditate if you Think you Don’t Have Time for Meditation
Are you one of those people who find it challenging to make time for meditation? Have you tried sitting down to meditate and simply find you can’t sit still? Meditation doesn’t have to be an arduous process. There are some simple ways you can meditate that don’t take a lot of time.
The great thing about meditation is the fact that it can be done anytime, anywhere. Meditation is a personal choice, and everyone looks at it a little differently. What is calm and relaxing for one person might be distracting for someone else.
Some people find it hard to "quiet" the mind so practices like guided meditations offer you a nice framework in which to work because guided meditations take the mind on a journey. If you are more visual in nature you might enjoy something like a simple candle or focus meditation, where you simply stare at a flame or at the center of a beautiful flower, imagining whatever you want to imagine.
There are many different ways to meditate including simply sitting quietly, taking a mindful walk, or breathing deeply. In this article, we will examine three simple ways to mediate that might work for you.
Walking meditation is a good choice for those who are looking for alternative ways to meditate. If you are one of those people who don’t enjoy sitting still, a mindful walk might be perfect for you.
Walking meditations are derived from Zen Buddhism believe it or not. There are many modern variations to a formal walking meditation. You can choose to walk in the woods, walk in a park or simply walk while contemplating life. It is not necessary to sit still while meditating unless you feel comfortable doing so. If you prefer walking, then walk.
The best rule of thumb when doing a walking meditation also referred to as mindful walking, is to try and tune distractions out. The goal is to walk with a singular point of focus.
This isn’t the time to be chit-chatting with everyone you pass by because the goal of walking meditation is to be mindful of your surroundings and to take that time to notice all those little details.
For example, as you walk, you can tune into the sound of your feet hitting the pavement or you can walk and listen to the wind or listen to the sounds of nature. It’s really about tuning into your environment and focusing on the beauty and the stillness, wherever you happen to be. Walking meditation can be done anytime during the day, even during your lunch hour. You might be surprised at how relaxing it can be.
Deep Breathing Meditation
Breathing deeply is a meditation all on its own. Breathing practices allow you to focus on the moment and focus on the breath because each moment you spend focusing on something positive is one less moment you spend focusing on something negative.
The average person breathes in and out nearly 23,000 times a day. Many people breathe shallower during times of stress, so learning how to breathe deeply can help you feel peaceful and calmer.
Breathing deeply is also a great way to shift your focus when you are feeling anxious. One good technique to try is known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique because it acts like your body's own natural tranquilizer.
This breathing practice involves breathing deeply all the way down to your belly like you are filling up a balloon deep down in your body.
All that is involved is breathing in through the nose to the count of 4, holding the breath for the count of 7, and slowly exhaling through the mouth for the count of 8.
This technique is a simple practice with BIG results because it helps clear away toxins and stress from the body. When first starting out, it’s best to strive for only 2-3 repetitions at first, because this kind of practice may make you dizzy, but it will pass.
Practicing this kind of simple breathing practice can completely shift your focus and your state of mind.
5-Minute Morning Gratitude Meditation
While you may not think you have time in the morning for meditation, you might be surprised at how rejuvenating a morning mediation can be.
Sitting down with your morning coffee or tea and spending a few moments cultivating gratitude can set the tone for the entire day. This meditation is a wonderful quick meditation that you can do upon awakening.
For this meditation, you simply set a timer for 5-minutes and use the time to mentally list all of the things you are grateful for such as the love of family and friends, a warm shower, or even a beautiful cup of coffee or tea.
How Long Should I Meditate for?
A good rule of thumb to follow is to meditate for as long as you feel comfortable. If you are new to meditation, you might want to try these techniques for 5-10 minutes two-three times a week to start out, adding more time in as needed. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to do something like this every day if you're not used to it, just practice as much as you desire.
Stopping the Flow of Thought
There are many ways to stop the flow of thought. Some people find it beneficial to “watch their thoughts” by imagining their thoughts appearing on a blackboard. When you watch your thoughts in this manner, you can watch them as they appear on the blackboard, erasing them one by one.
The important thing to remember is that meditation is not really about stopping the flow of thoughts because, in essence, that is improbable. Thoughts arise in the mind spontaneously and they are a natural part of who you are.
The goal of meditation is to become more aware of the mind and body and to become more aware of the flow of thought. You don’t have to try and stop your thoughts; you can simply notice them and acknowledge them for what they are.
The great thing about the process of meditation is the fact that there are no rules, so anything goes!
If you are looking for alternative ways to practice meditation, such as an online class, we have a multitude of talented instructors to guide you. Check out our yoga teachers as well as holistic and life coaches today and find the right fit for you!
Are you looking for tips on how to cope in this challenging time? If so, check out the blog article on Planet Blessed, Embracing a new Normal.
By Leslie Riopel
Leslie is the creator of PlanetBlessed.org and the co-author of the Bless the Mess Mindfulness Journal: 53 Unique Mindfulness Exercises for Sur-Thriving in a Challenging New World available on Amazon.