The essence of meditation is not so much about being or becoming a different person, but rather, about embracing the moment as it is and embracing the you within the moment, without judgment. Through meditation, one can increase peace, decrease anxiety, better manage stress; and thereby live a fuller, healthier, more present life.
Here are some simple ways to incorporate meditation into your life:
1. Start the day with thankfulness. Set your alarm 5-10 minutes earlier than usual. Sit up in bed, take ten deep, slow, and long breaths. Bring 10 things to mind that you are grateful for, one at a time. As each one comes to mind, linger for a moment in the thankfulness for the person and the memory.
2. Mealtime. When sitting down to eat, before digging in, take a moment to pause. Be grateful for the food before you that will shortly be consumed. Take a moment to appreciate the colors, notice the textures, embrace the smell, and consider the way you feel.
3. Walking. Whether it’s a long walk or a short walk, a walk in nature or through a parking lot – you can meditate. Take in the surroundings, notice the spaces and your body within them. Consider the breaths you are taking and how your body feels.
4. In the Delays. Checkout lines, bus stops, drive-throughs, and traffic jams are some of life’s most tedious interruptions that can be looked at as meditation opportunities. Instead of taking out a phone, take some deep breaths. Notice your body’s reaction and try to release the tension. Look around and embrace the surroundings and details.
5. Yoga. The best way to practice meditation is by regularly practicing yoga. Many times, we do need a little outside help calming the noise to learn how to be present in the moment and embrace ourselves in it, with no judgment. Yoga allows the body and mind to connect in the process.