5 quick and simple ways to incorporate meditation into your day

You may have heard of meditation, of the many benefits of “taking a step back” and observing your thoughts, relaxing your mind and concentrating on the breath or a mental image such as a pebble splashing in a still pond. You may have even tried it, thinking how it may be suitable for your circumstances, to help you relax.

The benefits of managing your time successfully to allow you to incorporate meditation into your day are enormous. Just some of the science-backed reasons to meditate are: it improves focus; reduces stress; may help treat depression and anxiety; it improves heart health; may improve productivity, can boost the immune system, and more. (2)

However, one of the drawbacks to being able to regularly incorporate this hugely beneficial practice into your day is the time needed to meditate. According to experts, lack of time is one of the main reasons people fail to incorporate meditation into their day.

It’s true, it can be difficult to find the recommended 20-30 minutes a day when you’re juggling work and family life. But did you know the art of putting aside those moments for mindfulness is, in itself, a powerful time management tool?

The key to finding time to meditate is planning. Whether you work at an office, a workplace or from home, finding time to meditate won’t be a chore if you plan ahead. Particularly when you examine the amount of time you spend on time-wasting activities throughout the course of the day. Replacing just some of these activities with a small amount of meditation will pay dividends.

Here are five quick and simple ways to incorporate meditation into your day.

Take a minute

If you work at a desk or at home, take a minute out every few hours or so. Stop and bring your focus to your breath. Slowly inhale and exhale and just relax for the briefest of moments. These mini-meditations will set you up for anything the day throws at you.

Get off one stop earlier

If you catch a bus or train to your workplace get off one stop earlier and practice walking meditation. This is a handy variant of sitting meditation and involves a slowing down of the step and mindfully observing your surroundings. Put away the iPod and smartphone for the walk and take in the sounds, feel of your surroundings, and sights you encounter on your walk. You’ll feel better for the exercise and arrive with a clear mind, ready to start the day.

Put aside time

Try starting your day fifteen to twenty minutes earlier than normal. Set your alarm and use this extra time to incorporate a daily meditation session. Even a short period of time can help you relax and create a space for yourself. It’s like hitting the pause button on your brain, doing so will help you feel refreshed and focused.

Organise ahead to have time to yourself

Time management is the key to success in the workplace, as it is in the home. Being able to plan ahead means being better positioned to handle the stresses of the day. Try organising your week ahead (with plenty of “time-out” space ) to allow you to practice meditation. This may mean organising someone to take the kids if you have a young family.

Take yourself off social media!

We’re all guilty of this! A quick five minutes checking our Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest pages turns into an hour or so, particularly if there’s an interesting thread where you can discuss, chat, or read. With social media so much a part of our lives, there are now numerous corresponding studies that show the negative effect social media has on mental health. This appears to be especially a problem for younger users. This article is an interesting look at social media and its reported effects (good and bad) on mental health.

If you’ve heard of meditation previously but are unsure where to go from here talk to your health professional. Ask your doctor if they can refer you to a fitness or meditation centre nearby. They may be able to help you choose which type of meditation suits you best. Doing the backup research yourself, checking good quality sites for the right information, is also very important.

There are many talks and guided meditations to suit your taste online, one such app is the Australian-run Insight Timer.

Do you have experience incorporating meditation into your own busy day? How beneficial has it been for you and your family and fellow workers? If yes, do you have any tips that will help readers add meditation techniques to their day? Please add your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

As always, be sure to chat to your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your daily regime.

Rich Bowden

Article by Rich Bowden

Rich Bowden is a freelance writer and podcaster. Based in NSW's Central West, he loves family life; reading, thinking outside the square and writes and podcasts about natural food, the environment, renewables and the organic movement in general. You can check out The Real Food Chain podcast, at http://realfoodchain.libsyn.com/website.

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