Quick meditation ideas
We all need a little time out for some headspace every now and then, and many people find they benefit from a technique called mindfulness meditation. It’s a proven stress-reduction technique that helps to reduce anxiety, stress and depression – but what’s it all about?
In short, it’s the art of ‘being in the moment’, where thoughts and feelings are acknowledged, then let go. The idea is that by shifting the emphasis away from the past or worrying about the future, you’re able to make better decisions.
Take a moment
When we’re stressed and anxious, we might be stuck in overdrive and can’t even think of stopping for a 20- or even 10-minute meditation – but taking just a few minutes out of your day could make a difference to how you feel, says Marina Grazier, co-founder of the UK’s The Mindfulness Exchange.
“Through a focus on breathing, for example, we can learn to switch off the autopilot that most of us live by and gain an insight into our thoughts and behaviours,” she says. So, what are you waiting for?
How to do it
1. Sit in an upright chair or stand and close your eyes.
2. Tune into your breathing and ask, ‘What am I thinking right now? What feelings do I notice? What bodily sensations can I sense (eg a stiff neck)?’ Don’t try to change anything; just acknowledge these sensations and let them go.
3. Now narrow your focus to the sensations of breathing in your abdomen, expanding as you breathe in and falling back as you breathe out. But don’t alter your breath.
4. Now focus on being aware of your whole body and its place in the room (or wherever you are) – think of it as your whole body breathing. Then slowly move your fingers and toes, open your eyes and continue your day, refreshed.