What do massage, deep breathing, and Netflix binges have in common? They can all help relieve stress! Feelings of safety and tranquility are part of every human’s basic needs, and every culture and generation has developed their own way to achieve inner harmony. The most universal method is probably the one that’s also the most accessible: meditation! It helps decrease intrusive thoughts, can reduce anxiety, and actually can reap significant long-term health benefits.
If you’ve heard it works wonders for the body and mind, but the traditional “sit in lotus pose and do…nothing” vision of meditation leaves you cold, we have good news for you. There are tons of different meditation techniques, and you just need to pick one that suits you the most. You might be surprised to find that meditation can take place while exercising, taking a bath, and even eating!
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution – each option brings something unique, and some may feel more comfortable for you than others. That being said, there’s no right or wrong way to meditate, and it doesn’t take much time. Read on to learn surprising ways to meditate and you’ll be equipped to stay calm amid any storm.
1. Show yourself some love with positive affirmations
One of the most effective meditation strategies for beginners is to discover a steady mental focal point to concentrate on. If you find it hard to stop worrying about daily tasks or planning tonight’s dinner, mantras or affirmations will help you focus on one thing. Plus, they can empower and reassure you if you feel down.
For this technique, you need to find a quiet spot free of distractions and set aside some time. Five minutes will be enough for a start, and be sure to choose a soft melodic alarm tone so it doesn’t startle you at the end! Sit in a comfortable yet alert position, and keep silently repeating three or four appreciative positive phrases. Try “I am worthy,” ”I am proud of myself,” or ”I can do this.” Feel free to create your own affirmations! Be sure to breathe through the diaphragm (learn how to do it properly here) and feel your mind clearing and confidence enhancing.
2. Stay in the moment
Mindful meditation sounds simple: it’s a combination of breathing practices that cultivate awareness of body and mind. But it can be easier said than done! Sitting and trying to focus on the sensations in your body may be surprisingly challenging. At first, you might notice a flood of random thoughts about nothing in particular. That’s okay – your brain produces thoughts even while you sleep. The key is to allow your ideas to come and go. Then, try to gently redirect your focus to the present moment. Guided meditation audio with calm music is a must if you’re only just beginning. But don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you can’t focus right away. Incorporate daily meditation in your self-care routine, do it regularly, and you’ll undoubtedly notice positive changes.
3. Mindful eating: savor your meals
With our crazy schedules, we often try to do many things simultaneously while eating, like scrolling through our phones or answering work emails. Cooking and enjoying comfort food, on the other hand, may cheer up both you and your loved ones if you do it together, and mindfully, too!
Practice becoming more mindful about your food to build resilience to stress. Try to establish a healthy diet. Be present, chew slowly, pay attention to each small bite, and savor the taste. Mindful eating helps you be more in tune with your delicious meal, so you’ll enjoy it, and your time around the table with loved ones, much more.