You DO Have Time to Meditate
When it comes to anything health-wise, people (including myself) find many excuses to avoid doing said activity. It could be a physical workout or, what I’m focusing on today, a mental workout. Yes, I’m talking about meditation: slowing down your life for a couple of minutes to find center and balance (though I’m sure that’s not the exact definition). Meditation has astounding effects on one’s day-to-day life; it can cheer you up, help you find perspective, give you new revelations, fine-tune your focus and so forth. Wow, sounds like great benefits, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well, one big reason is that people don’t think they have time to meditate.
Not enough time to meditate?! Claiming that for a full-hour workout, but for a meditation that can be as short as two minutes long… try searching for another excuse. But, hey, I do it too. It’s funny, the thing that can help us most in life (exercising, meditating), we try to avoid with any excuse possible: it’s too cold out, it’s too hot out, that cloud looks ominous, I’m too tired, I don’t have time, yadda yadda yadda. Nobody is innocent to this. We all do it, though perhaps on different levels of severity.
I challenge you to rise above your excuses. Just to start, rise above for the excuse not to meditate. This can only take two minutes (but I dare you to go for longer) and just requires a little quiet and alone time (or if you have a partner willing to join, drag them in too). You can use helpful apps that have timed, guided meditations like Headspace and Buddhify or try your own routine. Here’s a short routine you can try from just about anywhere:
-Be still: whether that’s standing, sitting, or laying down. Close your eyes.
-Start to become aware of your breath. Let it fill you. See where it fills in your body.
-Start to deepen and slow your breath, still simply focusing on your inhale and exhale.
-If you are struggling with focusing on your breathing, use this technique: with each inhale, hold one nostril with a finger, and then when you exhale, move the finger to the other nostril so that you are only breathing through one at a time. This helps you focus on your breathing.
-Now that you are in tune with your breath, start to explore your body a little bit. Start at the top of your head, doing an internal scan within your mind. What feels light, loose, heavy, tight, etc.? Breathe into the parts that feel tense.
-Continue to do this for a few minutes, either focusing on your body or your breath.
-When you are finished, sit up straight and take three big “stress breaths.” That is, draw as much breath as you can in an inhale then exhale loudly and with force, letting any stress escape with the breath. Do that three times.
And there, you’re done. If you really want to limit your meditation (or make sure you’re surpassing 30 seconds), you can set a timer. And with that timer, extend it each week even if it’s just by fifteen seconds. Start to explore different types of meditation practices and find out what suits you. Meditation is a powerful tool to gain control and balance over your body, mind, and spirit. Meditate to stay hungry and fit!