You may ask “Why would I need to meditate?” I am a stay at home mum who blogs. What on earth would I have to get stressed about?
Um, let me see: two teenage girls, the COVID pandemic when I have a partner with a depressed immune system at home, tax time and a dent in the front fender of my car.
This is just the shortlist. There are others, and if I dwell on them my heart beats just a little faster and my doctor doesn’t like it when I tell her about that.
I recently discovered meditation helps immensely.
It keeps me from dwelling on what is not right in my life and helps me to relax by just being present in the now.
Let me tell you being completely present and focusing completely on what is right in front of you brings so much peace.
Do you meditate?
Meditation is simple, easy to do and can provide a myriad of health benefits yet in our western world it is not widely practised.
Among the health benefits are anxiety and stress reduction which in this fast-paced world is a bonus of huge proportions. Harvard has released a study which shows that after 8 weeks of meditation the brain actually shows signs of rebuilding itself.
So let’s start the rebuild
What if I told you that you could meditate almost anywhere, at any time?
You don’t have to be sitting cross-legged on the hard floor, incense burning, and chanting “Oom” while rocking back and forth. That would certainly get some raised eyebrows around the office. We don’t want you known as “that weirdo in the corner”.
So in the interests of keeping things in the realms of normality, here are some ways you can practice meditation while you go about your everyday life.
Do you walk? It’s a great time to get into the here and now. While you walk practice some meditation.
The idea is to pay attention to the movement. Your feet hitting the pavement, the rhythm, your breathing. Allow yourself to hear the sounds around you and see what is in front of you but don’t let them become part of your thoughts. Let them melt into the background. I especially take time to enjoy gorgeous flowers or the majesty of huge trees.
My practice is to meditate for the first half of my walk then problem solve or plan my day during the second half when my mind is sharper.
2. Doing housework
If you are like me you hate ironing, hoovering, dusting or any other mundane household task with a passion that would make your eyes water.
So this time is not a complete loss, meditate.
This is how. Switch off completely and focus totally on the task at hand. Become fully present in the now and aware of the stillness within you. I often find myself actually enjoying the time it takes to complete the task, not the task itself that would be a cold day in hell.
3. At work
If you have headphones put them on, they will help cut out some noise as well as discourage Miss Gabby at the next desk from trying to start up a conversation about the dreadful date she had last night with the spotty geek further down the office.
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Sit with feet flat on the floor, hands resting in your lap, back straight, shoulders relaxed. Focus on a point in front of you. If you are in a busy office you may need to make that your computer. You don’t want the spotty geek across the office to get any ideas about your intentions.
Now focus on your breathing. Keep it relaxed. When your thoughts stray away keep bringing them back to your breathing. The more you practice this the easier it will become.
4. At home in a chair
Find a comfy chair in which you can sit up straight and sit. Place both feet flat on the floor. Rest hands on your thighs palm up. Breathe deep two or three times then let your breathing return to normal.
Let thoughts come but don’t hold on to them. Let them pass on by.
See if you can feel a light breeze blowing across your hands and up over your head. When you do concentrate on a point just above your head. Relax.
You can find the full guide to the last meditation here.
If you have an ‘anywhere’ meditation you use I would love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments.