According to the latest research, only a small portion of the adult population — eight percent — meditates on a regular basis.
There are many reasons why people choose not to meditate. Some don’t realize how beneficial it is, while others think that they don’t have the right temperament for it. Another common reason, though, is the fact that lots of people think that they don’t have the time to sit and meditate.
If you want to experience all the benefits of meditation but don’t feel that you have the time, it’s important to note that you can meditate without dedicating a significant chunk of your time to the practice.
Listed below are some easy ways that you can incorporate meditation into your daily routine and reap the benefits no matter how busy you are.
Benefits of Meditation
Why should you make meditation a regular part of your day? There are several benefits of a consistent meditation practice, including the following:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Reduced feelings of depression
- Improved self-awareness
- Increased attention span
- Improved memory
- Improved sleep
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved pain management
Clearly, there are lots of reasons to give meditation a try. Whether you’re a busy professional or someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, or another health condition, meditation might help you feel better and manage your symptoms more effectively.
How to Incorporate Meditation into Your Day
If you don’t have a lot of time to sit and meditate, or simply find that type of meditation unappealing, don’t worry. You can try one of these five methods to start reaping the benefits of meditation and incorporating it into your day.
1. Do Things You Enjoy
When you do have a chance to get out and do something fun, did you know that you can also meditate at the same time? Instead of taking time away from your favorite activities, try tuning in and focusing fully on that activity while you’re doing it.
For example, when you’re hiking, pay attention to how the fresh air and sunshine feel on your face and the smell of the surrounding trees. Or, if you’re painting, think of the colors you’re using, the image you’re trying to create, the feeling of the brush in your hand, etc.
As you try being more mindful during daily activities, you’ll find that you feel calmer and more at ease, even when the activity’s over.
2. Tune in to Your Commute
Instead of spending your morning commute fuming over the amount of traffic on the freeway, try taking advantage of the time to practice meditating.
Keep your eyes open for safety’s sake, but make an effort to breathe deeply, sit up straight, and surrender to the moment.
You can even repeat a mantra — “I am calm,” or “I am at ease” for example — to help you stay calm and at ease during your commute.
3. Movement Meditation
You can also meditate while exercising. Some forms of exercise that lend themselves best to mindfulness include yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, swimming, cycling, walking, and running. As you move, focus on your breathing and pay careful attention to your environment and how it feels to move.
You don’t necessarily have to be participating in an exercise routine to enjoy a moving meditation. You can simply go for a walk during your lunch break to experience the same benefits.
Even if walking is difficult for you, you can still try a moving meditation while using mobility scooters or other mobility aids. The end result will still be the same, no matter how you move.
4. Eat Your Favorite Food
If none of these other options appeal to you, how does enjoying your favorite food sound? Whether it’s ice cream or pizza, you can eat whatever your heart desires. All you have to do is eat it mindfully.
What does that mean, exactly? Mindful eating involves enjoying your favorite food without distractions — no TV, no phone, no music, nothing. Just sit down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the taste, smell, and texture of your food.
5. Make Chores Intentional
If you have to do chores, you might as well get the benefits of meditation at the same time, right?
While you’re doing your daily chores — washing dishes, vacuuming, cooking, etc. — spend the time noticing on the feel of the water on your hands or the carpet under your feet. Think about the experience, and you’ll find that you soon feel much more relaxed.