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Guest article by Amanda Moore
Emotional baggage and stress are things that accumulate as we go about our daily lives
From encounters at work, to getting ready in the morning, there are many places in which we can invite imbalances into our lives. These imbalances lead to feelings of being overwhelmed with anxiety if not properly dealt with. When it comes to fighting stress, look no further than the miracle of meditation.
Meditation has become a marketing buzzword over the past decade, but it’s not without reason. The benefits it brings are powerful and not to be taken lightly.
Meditation can bring about a new state of mind, a new quality of life, even a new way of seeing the same world you see today. With busy schedules and the ‘hustle and grind’ mantra we follow in today’s work culture, it can be hard to make time to meditate. Continue reading to learn easy tips for meditating on-the-go.
Before We Begin
Knowing the affects of stress and anxiety on the mind, body, and spirit will be very helpful in understanding the benefits of meditation. Without healthy coping mechanisms, stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on an individual’s quality of life. Here are some things you can expect if you have a lot of stress.
The body can show signs of stress long before the mind recognizes it. These signs may come in the form of increased appetite, rapid breathing, and tense muscles.
Stress and the Mind
If the body doesn’t receive treatment for its ailments, the accumulated stress will begin to leak into the mind. You may notice this in the form of depression or insomnia where you find it hard to keep your mind still.
Stress and the Soul
After time, your body and mind lose their awareness of this stress — we get used to what it feels like to be stressed out. It’s at this point that we begin to feel hopeless and without purpose on our really bad days.
If you have any of these symptoms, don’t fret! These can be overcome with healthy lifestyle choices fueled by your meditative practice. The more you bring your attention to the feelings of stress and anxiety, the sooner you will be able to understand them, accept them, and overcome them.
Meditation helps to strengthen the awareness of the moment. Through this awareness we realize that it is our egos who are causing us to feel imbalanced.
Like a pause button for reality, meditation is the act of observing your thoughts and body experiences without judging them. It’s sort of like watching a movie. You can see what’s going on, but you don’t get a say in what comes next.
As you get better in your practice, you will be able to overcome things that would normally make you upset. You may even be surprised to have solutions you weren’t able to come up with before.
With the tips that follow, focus on being happy. Happy that you are working on yourself, happy for how far you have come, happy to be happy. Meditation is a life long journey towards happiness that will help you the more you practice!
Relax Your Mind
As with any meditative practice, you’re going to want to begin by relaxing your mind. We do this by focusing on our breathing.
Place one hand on your stomach around the belly button and one hand on your chest. As you breathe, think to yourself “In” when you breathe in and “Out” when you breathe out. The hand that is on your belly-button is the only hand that should move.
As you continue to do this, begin counting how long it takes to breathe in and out. You may find on average you take 5 seconds to breath in and 5 seconds to breathe out.
When you’ve found your average, focus on pushing air out for 2 seconds longer each time until you’ve hit your new limit. You’ll know it’s your limit because breathing in and out will take the same amount of time again. This will help increase the air intake as well as get stale air out of your lungs.
This can be done quickly, and 5-10 cycles of equal length breaths is all you need to practice every day. It can be done in as little as 5 minutes and the benefits are tremendous.
Clean Space Matters
As weird as it seems, a clean, organized space can make a difference in feeling calmer. When there are too many things in front of us, our brain finds it difficult to make a decision on what it really wants.
Take time to clean the places that you spend the most time in. This can be your desk at work, your home, or even cleaning your car.
It all adds up and the more you practice cleanliness, the more it will flow into other areas of your life.
If you are driving yourself, make sure you are safely pulled over on the side of the road before you practice meditation. Not only is this obvious for keeping you and others safe, this will also promote stillness in your mind.
This stillness is what we aim to build upon as we practice meditation. It is a calm center that we want to promote within ourselves so we are better able to handle what life throws at us.
With the rise of apps such as Headspace that teach meditation in small doses, it has become even easier to integrate meditation into a busy lifestyle. It certainly won’t be for everyone — some people prefer to meditate silently — but it can help beginners with the learning curve.
You can learn more about meditation and its benefits by listening to podcasts on your daily commute.
Make Space for Yourself
The last tip we have for meditating on-the-go is to give yourself enough space to be comfortable. You don’t want to feel claustrophobic while you are focused on being calm.
Moving your seat back is an option, although you do want straight posture while meditating for the best effects. With that in mind, try putting down the third row and laying in the back or stretch across your backseat if you can fit.
Making space for yourself is important for letting your thoughts run their course. If we sit in a confined area, we can often limit our own thoughts. Feeling confined will not help build strong foundational habits for meditation.
Tying It All Together
Meditation is a valuable practice to invest your time in. You may even notice positive affects to your mind and body in as little as one session.
With the world moving faster and faster, it’s important we take the time to take care of ourselves. Consistency is key and remember to be gentle with yourself while you are learning.
This amazing guest article was written and submitted by Amanda Moore. Thank you Amanda for these awesome tips for meditating on the go!