Do you feel like you never have enough time? Is your to-do list never ending? Does it feel like humans are busier than ever before? If you feel this way, you are not alone. Of course, this is in part due to technology making us always a call or text away. You leave work but you may still have emails to follow up on. You leave home but you still get phone calls or texts to help out a family member. You see a facebook post to help out at a homeless shelter so you sign up. You get a calendar notification for your nephews little league game on Tuesday and Thursdays. You get lost for twenty minutes (at least) scrolling social media. Don’t pretend this hasn’t happened to you… social media gets us all sometimes! Long story short, technology empowers us to do more but it also eats up our time.
So how do we keep up when our time is stretched thin? How do you pack in all your to dos and still actually live your life. This is where meditation comes in. It can help us be mindful and live in the moment. However, fitting in a meditation practice daily or even just once can feel impossible. Even though it may seem daunting, the benefits of fitting in a meditation practice into your life are so powerful. Many people have found by practicing meditation their capacity for handling challenges gracefully increases substantially.
Meditation opens your mind, sharpens your focus, and empowers you with efficient mindful thinking to complete your daily tasks. Even though meditating may take up 10 minutes of your time, that 10 minutes will come back to you one hundred fold as the meditation acts as an energy source to help you mindfully and gracefully go through your day. So let’s talk about how to fit meditation into your life.
Add to your routine
Find a daily routine you already have and add meditation to it. For instance, a common routine people have is their morning routine. What do you do each morning? Consider adding 5-10 minutes to your morning routine by adding some meditation. Putting meditation in a routine you already have helps cultivate consistent patterns. This way you will eventually not even have to think about when to meditate because it is just a part of what you do. I really enjoy listening to Jeff Warren, one of the meditation teachers, on the Calm app. Each day his content is new and always seems relevant to what I need in my life! Another bonus, his meditations are only 10 minutes.
Meditate while walking or running
If you like to run for exercise try turning off your music and instead tune into your breathing. Mediation during movement brings a lot of awareness to your body. Feel how your foot lands on the sidewalk, feel where your body is in space. Be intentional with your movement. If you are not a runner that is okay however chances are that you do walk daily. Make your walk around the grocery store mindful. Channel your focus inward as you walk into work. Use these walks to meditate.
Meditate while waiting
Look at your day, are there times where you aren’t doing anything except waiting? Use the time when you are stuck in traffic to meditate. You can’t necessarily close your eyes but you can expand your mind to become mindful of yourself and your surroundings. If you are stuck in line do the same thing. Meditation doesn’t always have to look the same. Be creative and make this time stuck waiting meaningful and actually work to your benefit.
Don’t create barriers for yourself by requiring meditation to look only one way. You can meditate in your bedroom, your office, at the park, or outside a restaurant. You can literally meditate anywhere. If you are worried about having proper support while you meditate on the go then check out the Ungloo Box. It is an amazing portable meditation chair that you can take anywhere. It is lightweight and simple to transport. So if you are out and find yourself with a little time you can easily pull out your portable Ungloo Box and you can meditate indoors or outdoors without sacrificing comfort or support.
Meditate with Friends
Find a group of friends that would like to meditate with you. Pax Tandon, a positive psychology expert and holistic coach said "This minimizes many of the distractions that might be holding you back from your meditation, and spreads the many benefits of the practice to those you love," says Tandon. "Maybe during the lunch hour, everyone practices a meditation together." Meditating alongside friends can keep you accountable to fit in your meditation time.
It is worthwhile to fit meditation into your busy life. Add meditation to a daily routine you already have. Be creative and meditate while you walk, wait, or are out and about. Find friends that want to meditate with you. These can all be helpful strategies to meditate without the stress of having to do one more thing. As you meditate you will find a greater capacity to do more and enjoy what you're doing.