Time-Poor? Here Are 60-Second Meditations You Can Do Anywhere
We all know the stress hormone, cortisol, is bad for us. Like, high blood pressure, low immune system, disturbed sleep, heart disease kind of bad. And yet how often do you really take time to lower your stress levels?
If I'm completely honest, I used to view meditation as another addition to my never-ending to-do list. But it doesn't have to be. Here, I'm sharing the 60-second meditations and exercises that make me feel better throughout the day. Enjoy. Let me know which work best for you!
Breathe. But actually breathe.
Wherever you are -- whether you're on a busy train, waiting in line, or about to head to a big meeting -- take a slow breath. Breathe in and out as slowly as possible, while thinking a calming word or mantra of your choice. Personally, I like thinking "release" or "I am at peace". Repeat as needed, throughout each and every day. Feels good, huh?
Be the observer
Want to feel more grounded? Before acting impulsively, try imagining that you're watching yourself on a movie screen. Imagine your current situation as a tiny scene in the big movie of your life. By stepping outside of a situation, before reacting to it, you'll gain an unrivalled sense of perspective. Mindfulness, found.
Take note of five things
During moments where your mind is racing with hypothetical situations, tune in to your surroundings. Centring yourself couldn't be simpler: look around and note five interesting things you can see, hear, feel or smell. This small exercise is key for feeling centred and in the moment. Consider it a literal eye-opener.
Acknowledge your emotions with words
Research shows that labelling your emotions has an immediate calming effect. Why? Well, it's all in the science of your brain. Acknowledging your emotions with words -- "I am stressed", "I am anxious", "I am livid" etc. -- shifts some of your brain activity from the emotional area to the thinking area. Try it the next time you don't feel great. I promise you it works!
Treat your thoughts like passing cloudS
"This too shall pass" is an accurate way of describing our mental activity. Whenever your mind starts racing, practice watching your thoughts passing you by like clouds. This is a technique I use everywhere -- in the gym, on the train, while having a bath. It's a note to self that our preoccupations, needs and worries are temporary, and dissolve over time. This too shall pass.