Meditation is definitely having a moment in our society right now, and for good reason! Meditation has been proven to calm your nervous system, improve your mental clarity, and get rid of that “wrong side of the bed” attitude. But does that mean we have to sit in half lotus, dim the lights, inhale that sweet incense, and spread out crystals everywhere? Not necessarily.
Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are great, and if that is how you meditate, by all means. But if you are new to this idea of meditation, all of that can be a little intimidating, and may not be for you.
Ask yourself – what is it you want to receive from meditation. Do you feel like you need to release something? Clear your mind? Get rid of some anxiety? The next question to ask yourself – is sitting still easy for you? Although sometimes sitting still is exactly what we need, it’s not always easy with built up anxiety and stress.
Adding mindfulness to things you are already doing in your daily life can serve you well as meditation, especially if you are just starting off. The key here, is breathing. Next time you are doing the dishes, or driving, or folding laundry… take some deep breaths. Inhaling all the way down into your belly, and exhale slowly. Try to focus your mind only on what you are doing in that exact moment. Take notice of how your hands feel under the water, check in with your posture, notice what’s going on in your body and your mind. Even if it is only for a few minutes a day, it will introduce mindfulness and meditation into your life.
Moving meditation is also a great option. My favorite – running. There is nothing that will put you more in the current moment than trying not to trip on a root. Climbing, hiking, even walking, all work well. These make it easy to get in touch with your breath – you almost have too, right?
These small practices are the gateway to seated mediation, or a great alternative when life gets crazy. Go for a hike, wash your dishes slowly, or practice breathing while in morning traffic, and check in with how you feel. Happy Meditating.