My meditation journey began sometime around 2005. Prior to that date my life was pretty chaotic, three small boys, working for myself and desperately trying to achieve something, to be someone.
The first thing I noticed was that I became a little calmer, the negative chatter started to slow down. I started to feel a little more in control of my thoughts and of my life.
Meditation has progressively Improved my life over the years and creating a daily habit has been paramount for helping transform how I think and how I act as a result. While meditating first thing in the morning is a habit I strongly recommend because of the many benefits, such as helping you set your intention and attitude for the day, I know it’s not always possible for everyone to do that. So here are a few suggestions of how you can weave meditation into your daily routine.
Practice Mindful Moments
One of the most common reactions I get when I suggest meditation to help my clients with stress, anxiety or any negative patterns of thinking is; “I have tried it before but my mind is too busy.”
It’s true it can seem overwhelming at first maybe even intimidating but the first thing to know is that we all have busy minds. When you start to meditate it can feel like your thoughts are increasing and your mind is getting busier, this is because when you are still, you start to notice how many thoughts you are actually having and how busy your mind actually is.
That’s ok because that’s what it means to be human.
If it feels too overwhelming to meditate you can start by practicing mindful moments. A mindful moment is when you find a few minutes to truly appreciate the present moment, bring your attention to what you are doing right now.
Next time you go for a walk, notice everything around you, the trees, the grass, the leaves on the trees, the sky, the air. Truly feel the beauty of your surroundings, even if it’s just in your local park. Notice everything, when you are in a state of noticing you are truly present with what is here right now. This is a practise that will help you take control of your thoughts, you are choosing what you want to think about.
You could also try listening to your favourite song with lyrics or instrumentals in mind to gain a deeper understanding of it. Focusing on the music trains your brain to be where you are.
Next time you stop to play with your child or your dog, be fully present. Mindful moments can come at any time of the day, you can have a mindful moment while doing something you love or being with someone you love. When your mind drifts to tasks you need to do, gently guide it back to the present moment.
Calm in Simplicity
Chores or basic daily tasks don’t have to be something you find mundane, as you can find calm in simplicity of carrying out these actions. Try to stay present with the tasks that have become so automatic to you. Doing the laundry, ironing, cleaning can all be very calming when you stay present with the task. For example, while doing the laundry, you could practise folding towels. Check out Mari Kondo for technique. Concentrate on the simple task at hand when your mind starts to wander. It’s a great way to calm your mind while still being productive.
Decompress Throughout the Day
If you are feeling stressed or anxious it might be an idea to carve out a minute here and there to meditate in a more traditional sense once you get used to the basic principles of meditation.
If you are on Zoom or Team’s calls during the day, take a short break to meditate between calls. (If you team hasn’t yet embraced the 45 or 50 minute meeting make sure to raise it at your next meeting.) We all need time to summarise and prepare for the next meeting.
Even if it’s only one minute, you may find yourself surprised by how the stress melts away when you focus on deep breathing. Find an existing habit to stack the habit of meditation on top of. Maybe it’s tea break, pre or post meetings, or at lunchtime. Whatever time you choose try to make it a habit in order to feel the most benefit from meditation.
When life gets busy and you feel stressed or overwhelmed you will benefit greatly from having the habit of meditation in your life, so create the habit now and reap the benefits when you most need them
Meditation has many practical and physiological benefits but it can also be a spiritual practise for some. If this is something you would like to explore take a look at this guide to chakra meditation This guide will help you to explore each chakra or energy centre in your body. You may find that a deeper understanding of the chakras might help you to work on certain areas of your life that might be blocked or feeling stuck.
By weaving meditation into your daily routine you will feel calmer, more focused and more in control.
If you would like to find out more or try out some of my meditations, check out my offerings on Insight Timer