Let’s face it, life is fast paced and unless you have a staff of 5 managing your every move, keeping track of you daily to-do’s and where-to-be’s can be a full-time job in itself. Successful navigation through the stressors of life necessitates finding ways in which to stay focused and grounded so as to effortlessly complete your job at hand. So what’s the solution? Well, practice meditation of course.
The trick, however, to any meditation practice is finding the time in which to focus and actually practice. And if you’re the type of person who is turning to meditation in the first place to help with anxiety and stress, chances are you don’t have a lot of time to begin with.
Luckily, Nina Smiley pens this recent Poughkeepsie Journal post about meditation strategies for people on the go. According to Smiley, who co-authored the book, “The Three Minute Meditator”, the benefits found in meditation can be achieved whether you meditate for three minutes or thirty minutes. The point is to find a practice and stick with it. Below are three of her 3 minute meditations.
Meditation practice No. 1: Visualization — when your mind is racing or jumbled, look out to the distance toward the horizon. Find the farthest perspective you can get. Let your eyes go into a soft focus and take three slow, centering breaths. Let go of all thoughts and clear your mind. With this moment, with this breath, there is no stress.
Meditation practice No. 2: Body scan — because stress causes muscle tension, it helps to focus on releasing that tension. While sitting down, progressively tense and then relax different body parts. Start from your forehead and work down to your toes. Tighten each muscle group as you inhale and hold the tension for a few moments and then release it as you exhale. Encourage your muscles to relax by saying to yourself “Warm and heavy … warm and heavy” as you breathe out the tension.
Meditation practice No. 3: Conscious eating — many of us eat unconsciously, which can lead to overconsumption and self-criticism. To become more aware of your food, make an effort to eat more slowly and focus solely on the eating process. Holding your utensil in the opposite hand may help you slow down and concentrate on the action. Feel every motion you make when you eat. Think about the texture and taste of the food. Smell the aromas. Appreciate the experience.
Read more from Smiley on the benefits and practice of meditation here.