How to Find Time to Meditate on the Go
Meditation has been such a life-changing practice for me. Let’s be real: my stress levels can sometimes be a bit high—ok, really, really high. I make it a point to find time to meditate every day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. It’s not only been so helpful in managing my stress, but it’s also helped improve my focus so that when I’m working, I’m a lot more productive. No matter how crazy the day gets, I make it a priority to use whatever pocket of time I can find to sit down, breathe, and meditate.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Some people think of meditation as taking a break from thinking, while some think it is a state of focus. I would describe meditation as both. It’s a mental exercise that allows you to remove yourself from your thoughts and just be aware of your awareness.
There are guided meditations where you can focus on what the teacher is telling you. There are meditations where you can focus on an object, your breathing, a mantra, sending love or positive energy to another person—the possibilities are endless. You can also meditate without any focus and just try to be without your thoughts.
Before you feel like that’s impossible, meditation is not about stopping your thoughts. Even masters of meditation can’t stop thoughts from popping up, but they let them float away without getting attached or reacting. They see that they are not their thoughts at all, but the one who is thinking. It’s a hard concept to grasp, but it’s such a liberating experience.
Got a mind that’s all over the place? I know I certainly do! My brain runs a mile a minute. It’s so nice to sit back from the analyzing, ruminating, and chaos and just be.
The Benefits of Meditation
Scientists have found in brain studies that you can actually alter your brain through meditation. You can read more about that here and here. In these studies, individuals who meditated were found to have developed the parts of their brain responsible for:
- Emotional Regulation
- Empathy & Compassion
Can I Really Meditate on the Go?
You can absolutely meditate on the go! I do it all the time. Trust me, you can meditate anywhere and for whatever length of time works for you. If you have 5 minutes somewhere in your day, you can adopt a daily meditation practice. (And if you don’t have 5 minutes a day, here comes the tough love—I don’t believe you! Look closer!)
Here are some ideas for the busiest of individuals!
- In public transportation
- An extra bathroom break
- In your office with the door shut
- In your car after you’ve arrived at your destination
- Make it the last step of your exercise routine
- When you wake up or right before bed
Some of these options are the perfect place, but if you wait for perfection—the perfect place, at the perfect time of day, in perfect silence—you might never start. So just jump in and start practicing!
Meditation apps are great if you’re constantly on the go. I especially like using apps because they block out some of the background noise that can make it hard to concentrate. My current favorite is Insight Timer meditations, but here’s are another six to choose from:
Proper breathing is the foundation of any meditation practice. Even if your breath is not the focus of your meditation, your way of breathing helps to calm your body and keep you centered throughout your practice. Start by inhaling through your nose, letting the air go deep into your diaphragm rather than your lungs. Your stomach should inflate like a balloon. Then, exhale through your mouth, feeling your stomach slowly go back in towards your spine.
Sometimes instead of the guided meditations, I like to use meditation music when meditating on the go. It still helps block out outside noise, but it allows me the freedom to meditate my way rather than having to follow.
Guided Meditation Videos
I really like guided meditation videos when I’m in public because nobody can tell I’m meditating! As far as they know, I’m just watching a movie or catching up on TV. Having a point of visual focus also helps drown out the distraction of having noise and movement around me.
Another way to incorporate the benefits of mediation is through simply being mindful through parts of your day where your mind usually wanders. A good example would be folding laundry. Normally, this is a time where our minds start to wander, and we think about something that happened earlier in the day, or what we need to do next. But it can also be the perfect time to be mindful and present. What texture is the fabric you’re holding? Does it has a pleasant smell? Are there any sounds surrounding you? Use all of your senses to be in the moment. You can do this for nearly any household chore, like washing dishes, cooking, or dusting. It helps to make this part of your routine so you don’t forget.
Do you have a meditation practice? How do you fit it into your busy schedule? Share your best tips in the comments!
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