Most of us have heard about the benefits of meditation - the reduced stress, improved productivity, healthier body and sense of inner peace. It's basically a multi-vitamin for the mind and soul!
Our jobs and lifestyle have become increasingly fast paced and everything needs to be done well and done yesterday. Which is why the likes of Apple, Nike and Google all offer free meditation courses to their employees, as well as rooms to practice meditation throughout their working day.
World leader’s, CEO’s, athletes and every day people like myself, use meditation as a tool to focus and balance out the stress of everyday life. Don’t believe me? Check out this list of inspiring women who meditate daily; Ariana Huffington, Oprah, Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, Ellen DeGeneres and Dr Libby. Need I say more?
If you are unfamiliar with meditation, don’t worry, it's not as daunting as it sounds! This is how it works. It is the process of slowing down the pace of your mind through the use of a mantra, a breathing technique or by focusing on an object, such as a flower or spot on the floor. There are other ways to meditate too, but let's keep it simple.
Most people love the feeling they get after a meditation (or the Post Meditation Glow as I like to call it) but they don't have a spare hour in their day to practice. Which is why we have come up with two quick, easy meditation techniques that take you less than ten minutes!
Stressed out in a meeting? Can’t remember the answer in an exam? Parents annoying the heck out of you? This is for you. It’s called “Box Breathing”.
So, this is how it goes.
1. Inhale through your nose for a count of four.
Inhale 1 - 2 – 3 – 4
2. Hold your breath for a count of four.
Hold 1 – 2 – 3 – 4
3. Exhale for a count of four.
Exhale 1 – 2 – 3 – 4
4. Hold your breath for a count of four.
Hold 1 – 2 – 3 – 4
Repeat this 2-3 times
The benefits of box breathing are; it calms down your nervous system helping you to relax, it increases the flow of oxygen into your lungs and brain giving you more focus and mental clarity through out the day, and it reduces the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, flowing through your body.
2. The Ten Minute Reset
This is for when you have 5-10mins during a lunch break, a free period at school, you're in a waiting room or even sitting at the hair dressers. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, this little meditation is for you also.
Find a comfy position. You might like to sit cross legged, lay in bed or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground
Set an alarm on your phone for 5-10 minutes (or less if you are pushed for time)
Close your eyes
Notice any tension you’re holding in your body and try relax these areas
Shrug your shoulders up and as you release your shoulders, let go of any tension
Let your awareness fall to your breath and breathe deeply into your lower belly
Your breath is your anchor, close your mouth and breathe in and out through your nose
You might have thoughts about what to eat for dinner or a mistake you made yesterday. When you notice yourself thinking, don’t judge or fight with your thoughts. Just return to your anchor, your breath
You might fidget or wonder “Am I doing this right? Is this doing anything?” Let these thoughts go
Imagine your thoughts are like a train passing you by. You see the train but you don’t turn your head to follow the train. Come back to your breath
Inhale deeply through your nose, exhale through your nose
When your alarm goes off stay put for an extra 30 seconds and decide on an intention or a reminder for the rest of your day. Your mind will be a bit quieter now, so your intention will sink deeper. You could choose;
“I am going to be present today”
“I am going to be kind to myself”
“I am enough exactly as I am”
“I am a loving person”
Congratulate yourself on taking the time to do something that your mind, body and soul thank you for.
On a side note:
If you notice that you have the same reoccurring thoughts during your meditation such as “What is my boyfriend up to right now?” or “What if something happens and I can’t pay rent?” It usually represent’s something deeper going on inside you and you may benefit from talking to someone about these thoughts.
Noticing your thoughts and learning from them is the process of self awareness and it can massively help you to become less anxious and fearful in life. If you would like to talk to us, please get in touch. We’d love to help you!
Happy Meditating! xxx