Too busy to meditate?
It’s true that meditation can be done anywhere, at any time and doesn’t require any special training or equipment. So why don’t you make the time to do it? The benefits of meditation include lowering blood pressure, reducing insomnia, easing anxiety and depression and general pain relief. As a matter of fact, five minutes of focused deep breathing can reduce stress, increase energy and improve productivity and concentration. However, I think the biggest reason to fit meditation into your day is because it can improve your willpower by teaching you to resist urges and act with more intention. Let’s face it, lack of willpower is one of the most common reasons people give for not being able to change their habits especially around health related goals.
So, how do you get started? Here are 4 simple steps to try.
- Begin by finding a quiet place where you will not be interrupted and sit with your back straight in an upright position. You can start with as little as 1 minute! Set the timer on your phone or computer and consider working up to 5 minutes of meditation at a time.
- Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. You should feel your belly move, not just your chest. Inhale to a count of 3, hold for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 8. Repeat three times.
- Continue breathing and focus your attention on an object (candle flame), mantra (a sound, word, or positive affirmation), or simply stay focused on your breath.
- When your mind begins to wander, and it will, gently bring it back to your meditation. When your time is up, gently stretch your body and return to your day.
The next time you are feeling the effects of a stressful day take a few minutes to reduce your mental “clutter”, increase your ability to stay focused and increase your willpower. Eventually you will be able to meditate for longer periods of time. Your chaotic thoughts will quietly fade away and you will begin to not only develop more patience with people and events in your life but also resist those urges to indulge in less than healthy behaviors.