No Time To Meditate? No Worries, Do This Instead

A tip for taking the time to slow down in the midst of your busy schedule.

Photo by José Martín Ramírez Carrasco on Unsplash

What is meditation?

We all know by now that meditation offers great benefits to our psychological wellbeing. Meditation is ultimately taking control of our mind, slowing down and getting in tune with our spiritual selves.

Meditation will provide you a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. It’s known to help with stress, help depression, help anxiety, relieve headaches, improve self-awareness and improve immunity.

It is important to note meditation although practiced by many religions it is not a religious practice. Anyone can do it and you and do it anywhere. This is why you don’t have to set aside 20 minutes of your day to do it if you don’t have the time.

It is our own mind that stands as an obstacle between us and meditation. It’s our mind itself that is the obstacle standing between ourselves and this awareness.

To work with your mind requires patience; it takes gradual work with oneself. The mind is undisciplined and unruly which is what a lot of spiritual teachers use the term “monkey mind’ to describe. The mind is naturally programmed to resist any attempts to discipline it or to guide it on a particular path. The mind has a mind of its own.

Persist in your practice and you will find that meditation is a means of freeing yourself from the worries that gnaw at you. Then you are free to experience the joy of being fully present, here and now. — Swami Rama

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What To Do If You Just Can’t Find The Time To Sit Still?

As we now know meditation is ultimately coming to a state of self-awareness by redirecting your mind to the present. This we can practice in our day-to-day lives without needing to sit in one spot with our eyes closed focused on breath.

The act of concentration is enough. Practice bringing your focus to the task at hand and be consciously aware of this task. Take notice of your body in motion by tuning into your senses.

For example if you are driving to work, you are probably thinking about million things because driving is most likely second nature to you by now. To increase your sense of self-awareness while driving you can redirect your focus to your hands at the wheel. Feel the sensation of touch. What is that feeling? Tune into your senses. What do you smell? What can you see? What is your touch sensory telling you? What does the steering wheel feel like?

Photo by why kei on Unsplash

Another way you can practice the act of self-awareness is tuning into your breath wherever and whenever throughout your day.

At a work meeting? No problem, just take a moment to breathe in for four seconds and breathe out for another four. Repeat as many times as you like and go on with the meeting.

The best part about being being able to redirect your focus to truly feel the task at hand or breath is that it can be done subtly. No one around you will ever know unlike meditation which may look odd if you decide to drop everything, sit cross legged and close your eyes at a work meeting.

You can take it a step further by redirecting your attention to the thoughts racing through your mind and question these thoughts. Ask yourself: “Why am I thinking about this? “What am I feeling about this thought right now?” “What is the purpose of this memory?” “What can I do about this fearful thought?” and so on.

Redirecting your focus to the present moment or task at hand by tuning into your senses, questioning your thoughts and taking a moment to focus on breathing slowly is all there is to it. What may be more difficult is remembering to do this throughout the day. Try it out and see!

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