Meditation is a popular health practice that uses self-contemplation and mindfulness as a method for relaxation. According to the NCCIH, meditation is beneficial in “increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” Setting aside time for meditation during a busy day can be challenging, but the results are often worth the effort. Here are four methods you can use to include meditation into your daily routine:
- Rise and shine
If you are a part of the work force, a student, or a stay-at-home parent, your mornings may be rushed and chaotic. How you spend your first hour out of bed has the power to set the tone for the rest of your day. To help you start your day on the right foot, consider setting aside time for meditation before you tackle the rest of your daily to-do list. Morning meditations can take many forms. You can meditate while taking a walk around your neighborhood, drinking coffee on the back porch, or kneeling in prayer. To maximize effectiveness, choose a method that fits your schedule and prepares your mind for the day ahead.
- Make the most of quiet moments
During the course of your day, you may naturally find yourself in brief moments of silence. Whenever you are commuting to work, waiting on hold, and killing time before a meeting, you have an excellent opportunity to make the most of time that might otherwise be wasted. One of the easiest ways to meditate during these brief windows is with a meditation app. Applications like Calm, Headspace, and Inscape can all be downloaded to your phone for use on the go. These apps provide audio tracks and playlists of various lengths that cover a variety of topics.
- Take it outside
Participating in outdoor activities can be both invigorating and relaxing. Every time you go outside, you have an opportunity to take note of the natural beauty around you and align your energy with that of the living things that surround you. Outdoor activities like cloud gazing, hiking, biking, and boating all provide relaxing settings in which to meditate. Simple practices like matching your breathing to the rhythm of waves or centering your attention on the feeling of the sun’s rays on your skin can help you to lower your heart rate and enjoy living in the moment.
- Wind down
If you start your day with a period of meditation, you can also benefit from closing out your day in the same way. According to Dr. Jessica Lunsford-Avery, a psychiatry professor at Duke University, creating and adhering to a consistent bedtime routine is tied to several physical and mental health benefits. Adding meditation to your bedtime ritual can help you to clear your mind of any worries or stress that built up over the course of your day. It can also help you to process any emotional responses that you may have internalized or ignored.
Benefits of Meditation - https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-in-depth
Importance of Sleep Routine - https://www.healthline.com/health-news/its-not-just-for-kids-even-adults-appear-to-benefit-from-a-regular-bedtime