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In our fast-paced ultra-modern world, it feels like the day never ends. How can anyone find time to practice meditation when so many other things – from social events and busy work schedules – keep getting in the way? Here’s how to combine meditation with your busy lifestyle!
An old Zen proverb says you should meditate for twenty minutes a day but sit for an hour when you’re busy. The best time to meditate is when you feel too busy too. There’s more free time in your day to practice meditation than you think.
The more distracted you get by socializing, work, and other activities, the more you lose sight of the essence of life. It’s time that you found some practical ways to better combine meditation with a busy lifestyle. The following are some tips on how to practice meditation at home, no matter how busy you get.
1. Start each day with morning meditation
Waking up to an alarm each day makes getting out of bed feel like a feat in itself. However, research shows that meditating first thing in the morning helps to relieve anxiety, depression, and pain. If you can’t meditate later in the day, then do it first.
You can do a lot with just ten minutes of meditation first thing in the morning. Even five minutes, twice a day, is good. It’s best to meditate at roughly the same time each day. Meditating at the same time creates a habit. Make morning meditation something you do as part of your routine, like brushing your teeth.
Start the day with a few minutes of mindful breathing. Why not try doing a relaxing Tai Chi session to start the day? Yoga is another great idea for morning meditation. Backbend yoga poses invigorate the nervous system to help you wake up naturally. Don’t forget to do slight warming up before exercising.
2. Use mindful walking to meditate during the day
When most people think of meditation, they imagine someone sat cross-legged on a mat closing their eyes. But you can meditate in all sorts of ways. You can even meditate while walking. Don’t worry so much about how to do meditation correctly. There are many ways to meditate.
Instead of rushing through life from one place to another, treat walking like an intentional and sacred act. Practice mindful walking by inhaling and deliberately placing your feet on the ground. Become aware of your next step as you breathe out. Continue doing this and gently bring your focus back to your breathing and steps if your mind starts wandering.
You can make mindful walking like this a regular part of your life. If you walk to the office, even across a parking lot, then try walking with mindfulness in your steps. If you have a dog, you can turn walking your dog into meditation. Go to the park on sunny days to enjoy some light exercise, fresh air, and mindful meditation walking. Finding ways to integrate meditation into your life is one way how to practice meditation effectively.
3. Practice mindful eating
Do you rely on instant coffee and fast food? If so, you likely eat without giving your food much attention. Rushing through meal times like this means you lose the connection to food. You start to eat more of the wrong things or eat too much because you aren’t aware of what you’re putting in your mouth.
You can make time for meditation during mealtimes with mindful eating. The practice of mindful eating involves being aware of your food by savoring every bite and showing your gratitude for the food. Sit down to eat in a quiet place with little to no distractions. Notice the sensations of food as you cook it – the aroma of the ingredients, the colors, and sounds, how the process of cooking itself feels.
Chew your food slowly and rhythmically. Notice each individual bite. Appreciate everyone and everything involved in the process. Give thanks to the animals and plants that now nourish you. Bow to the empty plate when finished to show your gratitude to the food that gives you life and energy.
4. End each day with breathing meditation
You want to end your day with calm thoughts to prepare yourself for sleeping. There’s no better way to prepare for bed than meditation. Studies show meditation helps you to sleep better at night and improves insomnia. Set aside a few minutes of spare time before going to sleep. Try some mindful breathing exercises or one of the many guided meditation apps available on smartphones these days.
Five reasons to practice meditation
Now when you know how to practice meditation effectively, you might be wondering why you should do it. Here are five reasons to practice meditation.
1. Understand where the pain comes from
Mental pain generates background noise that underlines much of what you do. Meditation allows you to discover the root cause and fight back.
2. Reduce stress
Meditation is among the best ways to reduce stress. Stress is connected to all manner of health and wellness problems, so having more ways to manage it can only be a good thing.
3. Connect better
Once you know how to do meditation correctly, you’ll be more aware and mindful of the people and things around you. You’ll have an easier time connecting to others.
4. Improve focus
It’s annoying to have your mind wander when you’re trying to be productive and focus on specific tasks. Meditation improves your ability to focus.
5. Cut down on brain chatter
We all have that nagging voice in our heads that refuses to shut up. Controlling and silencing that voice is one of the five reasons to practice meditation.
There are plenty of ways to turn everyday things into a chance for meditation. With a bit of determination and forethought, you’ll see your day isn’t as packed as you thought. Once you know how to do meditation for the first time, you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it before. To practice meditation, a person needs to be more mindful; that’s all it takes. What is your experience in meditation? Please share in the comments section.
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