Full schedules often hold people back from beginning meditation because we have this vision of it needing a chunk of time in solitude and who has that? Studies upon studies have been done on the benefits of meditation, and it is, without a doubt, invaluable to our mental, physical and spiritual health.
Best of all, it doesn’t take a ton of time to get started! Once you understand that meditation is simply learning to understand and control your own thoughts, emotions, and patterns, finding a practice that works best for you and your schedule becomes easier. All that’s required is the thought and desire to do so.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that is great for beginners. It’s simply the act of being fully present and aware of the “now.” You can practice mindfulness meditation by checking in with your senses, your thoughts, your feelings, and your environment at any point in time.
Allowing all of the mental chatter, prospects of the future, to-do lists, and stress to fall away for the moment so that you may focus on just that which is present right now. You can pick all that other stuff back up later when it’s needed for that “now” moment. At THIS moment, you’re taking a breather and enjoying existence in all of its ways, even if you only have 15 seconds to give it.
Affirmations are a word or phrase that helps us stay aligned with positivity and intention. Since they help us learn to control our thoughts, emotions, and habits, we can consider them a form of meditation and a great tool to pull out all day, every day, whenever the thought to do so arises.
Decide on your affirmations based on your goals. Think:
- I have what it takes
- I can do hard things
- I’m allowed to just exist and breathe for a moment
Or they can be a single word that holds a specific energy/emotion. Such as Love, Trust, Gratitude, and Strength.
Write your affirmations down and carry them in your pocket. Every time your fingers find the paper there, you’ll be reminded of the security in the word or phrase. Tailor them specific to your needs.
No matter how busy our schedules may be, no matter where we are or what’s going on, we can actively relax and release the built-up tension in our bodies.
Starting with a deep breath and relaxing the muscles of the face, ears, neck, and shoulders. Scanning down every inch of our arms, fingers, and torsos to release any and all tightness we find. Moving our awareness down to the hips, the full length of the legs, and ending with the toes. Just to come back up to the top of the head and relax everything down again.
Anything that’s done in a calming, controlled, and purposefully aware manner can be considered meditation and a great way to start building your practice without the time constraints of a deeper meditative state. If you want to work yourself up to the longer, more formal types, then I highly encourage it! Until then, these small efforts will support you in all the areas of your daily life.