No Time to Meditate? Do This Instead

No Time to Meditate? Do This Instead

A tip for taking the time to slow down in the midst of your busy schedule

What is meditation?

Meditation offers great benefits to our psychological wellbeing. It is ultimately about taking control of our minds, slowing down, and getting in tune with our spiritual selves.

It will provide you with a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. It’s known to help with stress, depression, anxiety; relieve headaches; improve self-awareness; and improve immunity.

Meditation is not a religious practice. Anyone can do it, and you can do it anywhere. This is why you don’t have to set aside 20 minutes of your day to do it if you don’t have the time.

Our own mind stands as an obstacle between us and meditation. To work with your mind requires patience; it takes gradual work with oneself. The mind is undisciplined and unruly, which is what a lot of spiritual teachers use the term “monkey mind" to describe. The mind is naturally programmed to resist any attempts to discipline it or to guide it on a particular path. The mind has a mind of its own.

Persist in your practice and you will find that meditation is a means of freeing yourself from the worries that gnaw at you. Then you are free to experience the joy of being fully present, here and now. — Swami Rama

What To Do If You Just Can’t Find The Time To Sit Still?

Meditation eventually leads to self-awareness by redirecting your mind to the present. We can practice this in our daily lives without having to sit in one place with our eyes closed and our attention focused on our breath. 

The act of concentration is enough. Practice bringing your focus to the task at hand and being consciously aware of this task. Take notice of your body in motion by tuning into your senses.

For example, if you are driving to work, you are probably thinking about a million things because driving is most likely second nature to you by now. To increase your sense of self-awareness while driving, you can redirect your focus to your hands at the wheel. Feel the sensation of touch. What is that feeling? Tune into your senses. What do you smell? What can you see? What is your touch-sensory system telling you? What does the steering wheel feel like?

Another way you can practice self-awareness is by tuning into your breath wherever and whenever you want throughout the day.

How about at a work meeting? No problem, just take a moment to breathe in for four seconds and breathe out for another four. Repeat as many times as you like and go on with the meeting.

The best part about being able to redirect your focus to truly feel the task at hand or your breath is that it can be done subtly. No one around you will ever know, unlike meditation, which may look odd if you decide to drop everything, sit cross-legged, and close your eyes at a work meeting.

You can take it a step further by redirecting your attention to the thoughts racing through your mind and questioning these thoughts. Ask yourself: "Why am I thinking about this? "What am I feeling about this thought right now?" "What is the purpose of this memory?" "What can I do about this fearful thought?" and so on.

Redirecting your focus to the present moment or task at hand by tuning into your senses, questioning your thoughts and taking a moment to focus on breathing slowly is all there is to it. What may be more difficult is remembering to do this throughout the day. Try it out and see!

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