Think you don’t have time to meditate? Think again, my friends! The benefits of meditation are plenty, and I assure you, it doesn’t take long to start noticing the difference. With some heartfelt effort and a bit of time, you can flip your monkey mind right over. The first thing I noticed after starting my meditation practice was a clearer mind. With this mental clarity came a whole slew of life-changing benefits. I am less likely to jump down the hubs’ throat anytime he mentioned something that struck a cord, I don’t need constant background noise (I was always needing the TV on or music playing just to get things done, and I feel asleep to a movie every night.), and my anxiety is significantly reduced.
Pre-meditation, I woke up exhausted after 9+ hours of sleep. I was fearful of everything (yes, everything). My anxiety dictated my life. I was devoted to my career, but spreading myself so thin that I had no energy left for me. I was prescribed every pill under the sun to reduce my anxiety, nausea, chronic headaches, and fatigue. Yes, my symptoms were reduced, but I still felt off; I was living in a shell of myself. All of my stress had manifested itself in chronic illness and physical ailments. PSA: I recommend discussing the best path of treatment with your doctor for any chronic health issue, as this information is not to serve as a medical diagnosis.
Here is my straightforward guide to a few super quickie meditation practices – and all you need is 5 minutes!
TRADITIONAL SEATED MEDITATION WITH BREATHWORK.
Find a comfortable seat, whether it be on a chair with both feet firmly planted on the floor, or seated cross-legged on a pillow. I love placing a blanket around my shoulders or over my lap to get extra cozy. Make yourself as comfortable as possible, and it’s a breeze to sit for a few minutes! I use a gentle timer to let me know when time’s up. Insight Timer is my favorite free app, otherwise you can set any alarm on your phone. Be sure to have a calm and soothing sound to bring you out of your meditation.
Start off taking a big breath of air in through your nose and as you exhale, allow your eyelids to fall shut. Place your palms face up on each knee, readying yourself to receive bliss that will come. Release your jaw, soften your brow, and let any tension you may be holding onto melt away. Place your intention at the center of your forehead – your third eye. This is a place that provides insight beyond the tangible. Let your inhale take all of the thoughts, tension, distress directly to your third eye. Hold it there, giving it the space it needs at that moment. As you breath out, let everything go.
Continue to focus on your breath. When thoughts pop up (they will, trust me) acknowledge them, pin them to a cloud, and let them float away without judgement. Keep the focus on the breath, and honor your vitality in this present moment. When the timer goes off, don’t rush; let the eyes flutter open and continue to breathe mindfully. Place your hands, one on top of the other over the heart, bow your head slightly, and give thanks. You did it!
CHECK IN WHEN YOU’RE FEELING RAGE.
It is way too easy to allow anger to take over in a split second. Next time you’re in a heated moment – someone cuts you off while driving, your kid spills his hot chocolate all over your new white rug, you’re having a stupid tiff with your partner – take a moment to acknowledge the situation before acting. Pause. Take a deep breath. Keep breathing until you can let it go. Let that shit go. Really let it go. I like to accompany my rage-induced breathwork with a simple mantra: Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I smile. I repeat this phrase until I actually smile. Presto! It’s magic, really.
FALL IN LOVE DOING THE DISHES.
I used to get frustrated that I felt like I was the one doing all of the housework. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, you name it. After years of haste, I began channelling that anger into compassion and enjoyment. Not only am I so lucky I have laundry to fold, dishes to wash, and hands to wash them with, but I have a moment to myself, and it is glorious. The next time you’re doing the dishes focus on the warmth of the water, the sound it makes coming out of the faucet. Breath in the sweet scent of the dish soap, and let the shapes and patterns of the soap suds mesmerize you.
Focus on all that is happening, allowing your mind to shift focus on each one of the sensations surrounding you for the entirety of the task. Turning your thoughts to outside sensations gets you out of your own head and the stresses that you are holding onto are allowed to disappear.
The simple task of honing in on your thoughts has immense power, and has been proven to change your physical disposition. Think of your body as your home, your ultimate dwelling place. We all want our homes to be welcoming, warm, cozy, and strong enough to withstand any natural disasters that come our way. We need our home to have a good, solid foundation. Having this strong foundation will ensure a happy dwelling place, and meditation will help you get there. Give it a go, my loves! What are your experiences with meditation?