Smart Ways To Make Time For Meditation During a Crazy Busy Day
For most of us, finding time for meditation is a challenge. Unless we’ve already made mindfulness practice a daily routine by going to yoga classes, including meditation within our busy agenda is a goal, but not a priority.
It is not the practice of meditation itself, or the difficulty of staying focused for at least 10 minutes, that is our main problem with meditation. It is time. Actually, it’s the lack of time that keeps us away from it.
Why Is It So Difficult To Find Time For Meditation
We are used to living by the idea that the day is too short. Too short to actually finish everything that we need to do, and still be able to dedicate 10 minutes to breathe into complete silence, or listen to peaceful music whilst sitting in a lotus position. Instead we are weighed down by choirs, office tasks, family problems. And we hardly find time to meet with friends, go to the movies or have a harmless, relaxing drink.
We’re also too fixated with our idea of what meditation is supposed to look like. That is, sitting crossed legged, like the gurus in most of the images that we see. When we look at meditation through this narrow view, it can easily look unachievable. Out of the question, even if we would like to rely on it to calm our busy minds.
But if we remain open minded about meditation, then we can definitely find time for meditation in our daily routine without being late for work, or interrupting our social life.
3 Moments When We Have Plenty Of Time For Meditation
The most important thing about meditation is that we can do it anytime, anywhere. So let’s start by noticing the things that we do everyday, and try to link them to opportunities for meditation practice.
Everybody takes a shower at least once a day, if not a bath. Each shower lasts for at least 5 minutes, 10 for some of us. During a morning shower we usually rush our minds into planning the day ahead. Let’s just forget about that.
Instead, let’s focus on showering: listen to the sound of the water, note how the drops feel on our skin, pay attention to our breath. Inhale for a count of 5, exhale for a count of 7. Continuously notice the flow moving through our nostrils and down into our lungs.
Extra Tip: Don’t take a hot shower. A warm shower is better when you want to wake both your body and mind. A three to five second burst of cold water at the end works wonders too!
We eat at least once a day whilst sitting at the table. For some of us, breakfast is very important, for others it doesn’t exist at all. For most, lunch is likely to be eaten on the go. However, at dinner, people usually sit down and eat with their loved ones, either at home or out.
We can use these times as a moment of contemplation, by carefully chewing bite. There’s no need to rush. The working day is finally over and we are in the company of people that we like to spend time with. So we can take our time and enjoy our food over a hearty conversation.
I have discovered the joy of slow eating whilst on holiday in Sri Lanka. Back at home, I am trying to stick with this highly beneficial way to feed both my body and my mind.
All we need to do, to turn dinner – or any other meal – into a meditation, is to take small bites. To chew each bite by the count of at least 10, to notice the taste, the ingredients, the aromas. Even if a heavy dinner is not the best choice, it is still an option for most of us. By slowing down a bit, we’ll help our digestive system process the food over night much better.
Extra Tip: when eating alone, try to erase any other thoughts from your mind during the meal. Concentrate solely on chewing the food and enjoying the taste.
3. Taking a break
During a crazy day, the idea of a 5 minute break might sound even crazier. We might be aware that there is a tricky hidden need in the need to be always busy. But you don’t have to leave the office to enjoy the perfect silence of your mind. It is enough to close your eyes for no more than 5 minutes, and listen to the sound of your colleagues. This is a meditation.
Immerse yourself in the ambient noise. Notice everything you can hear without trying to understand the meaning of the words and sounds. Don’t focus your attention on something in particular, let everything fall over you until you lose any sense and feel completely detached.
Enjoy that peace for as long as you can. It is refreshing for your brain to simply pause and recharge for a short moment.
Extra Tip: Practice this meditation everyday. You can do it during your lunch break or whenever you feel overwhelmed during the day. Make time for meditation when you have a light day, too. The most important thing is to create a pattern and your mind will follow.
In these ways, we can make good use of tiny opportunities to find time for meditation practice into the day.
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