We know about the benefits of meditation. It sounds simple enough, but can be hard in practice. In fact, studies have shown that the human attention span has shrunk to about 8 seconds!
However, in order to meditate on a regular basis, it's not necessary to set aside a huge amount of time. Even focusing on your breath for about 60 seconds is to successfully integrate meditation into your day. (Note that mindfulness is a quality of relating to oneself and one's environment; meditation is a more formal practice to enhance one's state of mind, they are often used inter-changeably).
Creating "mindful minutes" can complement a more formal daily meditation practice, or just be a stand alone practice. These "mindful minutes" can bring a sense of calm into our day, a minute at a time. They are specially useful if you find it hard to sleep, or feeling very stressed. To make it part of your routine, you can set a reminder on your phone or put a post-it note on your computer to "breath". Eventually, they will become a part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth.
Try out these practices below and see what works for you!
1. Count Your Breaths
As you inhale, silently count 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4 all the way up to 10. Repeat 3 times.
2. Match Your Inhales & Exhales
Take a comfortable breath in and count how long it takes you to do so. Most people reach a count of 3, 4 or 5. Do what is comfortable for you, the number is not important. Whatever number you reached on your inhale, match that number on your exhale. Repeat for one minute, setting a timer so you can focus on the exercise.
3. 4-2-4 Technique
Breathe in for a count of 4, hold it for 2, and then breath out to a count of 4.
4. Do a Short Body Scan
Rest your attention on different parts of your body, starting with the top of your head and moving toward your toes. As you notice each one, focus your attention there and consciously relax that part of you. In a minute you should be able to do your scalp, eyes, cheeks, mouth, jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, belly and legs.
5. Practice Belly Breathing
Take a nice long inhale and pretend you are blowing up a balloon in your stomach as you do so. Really feel your belly expanding as you breathe. You can even place one hand on your belly so as to feel the sensation of your belly expanding. Hold for a moment and slowly exhale all the air out of your balloon. Repeat for one minute, setting a timer if you need to.
There you have it. Any minute can become mindful. We've reset our brain and used our breathing to feel more in control. Best of all, it's free! Here at Nomad Haven, our soulful sisters fully embrace the power of mindfulness and meditation to grow personally and professionally. Join us by clicking below!