Mindfulness and meditation are simply learning to create a gap between stimulus and response. You can learn to hit the pause button and relax into the present moment. Ever felt at peace in nature or just sitting by the ocean? These are meditative moments and can be integrated into everyday living. Here are three easy meditations that over time can transform your life experience, creating meditation muscle memory:
- Set your worries aside: On a piece of paper, write down what you are worried about in this moment. Take the piece of paper, and put it in a drawer. Then, go take a five-minute walk. Whenever the worry arises, remind yourself that you are giving yourself a break for just five minutes, that you can begin worrying again after the five-minute walk is done. As you walk, pay attention to all your senses–what are the smells, sights, feel of walking? When the five minutes is up, return to the piece of paper. You can decide whether to keep it as a reminder or tear to shreds.
- Red lights or standing in line: Instead of letting irritation arise while you’re driving or waiting in line, practice using each delay as an opportunity to be aware and breathe deeply, aware of internal sensations, emotions, thoughts, as well as externally aware of the people and circumstances around you. To add an extra benefit, use the power of your imagination to silently wish everyone around you more happiness in their life, simply by radiating out a sense of loving-kindness and compassion for anyone you see.
- A rubber band on your wrist or special coin in your pocket: No one but you needs to know that the rubber band around your write on the coin in your pocket is a reminder to periodically stop whatever you are doing, and pay attention to your breath. Breathing into the count of four and breathing out to the count of six.