Can you count to 10? Of course you can, and that means you also can meditate. This is just one trick (see below) that can make meditation easier.
Studies show that daily meditation helps relieve high blood pressure, pain, insomnia, depression and more. Latest research: When participants did a simple 20-minute meditation for eight weeks, beneficial genes, such as those involved in insulin function, were activated, while genes related to inflammation and cancer were suppressed.
But many of us just can’t seem to make meditation part of our everyday routine—it seems so difficult to set aside the time…sit still…or quiet our minds. Here are three easy ways to work meditation into your life now…
5-minute meditation. What to do: Find the place where you feel the breath most clearly—nostrils, chest or abdomen—and bring your attention there. Take a normal breath without trying to change it. Repeat in sets of 10 (counting to yourself) for five minutes. If you take only three breaths before you start thinking about something else, bring your focus back to your breath. You don’t need absolute quiet. You can do this in your doctor’s waiting room or while walking the dog.
Single-task meditation. Choose a simple activity you do often, like drinking a cup of tea, and pay close attention to the sensations that occur while doing it. Feel the heat of the mug in your hands, the warmth and aroma of the steam, and the taste of the liquid in your mouth. When your mind wanders, draw your attention back to the experience. Other activities to try this with: Cooking, mowing the lawn or exercising.
“On cue” meditation. With this type of meditation, you use cues in your environment to prompt you to focus and breathe. Let your phone ring three times before answering it. Use the sound of the phone as a reminder to be in the moment and take a few deep, relaxing breaths. Other cues: Stopping at a red light or sitting down at your desk.