All cudos to those who can ’empty their minds’ or sit in a corner and ‘ohm’ for 30 minutes a day, but I just can’t do it.
I’ve tried ‘guided meditations’ too, but all that jingly jangly music irritates me, and I tend to already be swimming in the sea by the time they have stepped their first step on the sand!
Hence I didn’t do it.
Mistake on several accounts:
You don’t have to empty your mind or spend hours doing it.
It’s more like pressing [PAUSE] for a moment before you reboot your system.
Meditation is not a ‘nice to do’ thing, but a ‘have to do’ in our busy stressful worlds.
It reduces stress and saves time on packed busy days because fire fighting invariably leads to more fires.
It reduces pressure on the body and thus helps protect you from illnesses like my Fibromyalgia.
It’s important for weight loss!
I’m going to give you several ideas for quickly taking a pause in your day, and you can then proudly say that you ‘meditate’ every day!
3 Rules For All Options
1) Breathe in through your nose (it calms you) and out through your mouth
2) Breathe into your abdomen/tummy – you want it coming out as the air goes in, and then flattening as the air goes out.
3) If a thought pops into your head, don’t worry about it, just stop thinking about it and go back to the exercise
A Quick Reconnect Option
This can be from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Follow the rules while standing, sitting or lieing down, whatever works.
Imagine that there are roots coming out of your feet and going down into the ground.
Imagine that as you breathe in and out there is energy coming up to your from the ground and all your stress is going back down into the earth.
Imagine a string from the top of your head up into the sky.
Imagine that as you breathe in and out there is healing coming down from the ‘universe’ (or whatever you like to think as out there) and all your pains and worries are leaving as you breathe out.
Keep breathing a little longer now with energy coming into you from both the earth and the sky and your stresses and worries going out.
Making a Cuppa, Showering or Brushing Your Teeth Or Anything
Make a habit of taking a pause and being really PRESENT (i.e. not worrying about what happened or what is to happen) during one of your normal daily routines. You are going to focus on just that exercise for the next 1-3 minutes.
Follow the rules above.
Focus on the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTE and TOUCH only.
Obviously this is tricky when the kids are in the room and it can be difficult in the early months to get any time without a child – do what you can and adapt the idea. It can even be done with children e.g. while cuddling a child to sleep or feeding them.
Making tea – the sound of your feet moving across the kitchen, the sound of the water going in the kettle, the heaviness of the kettle as the water goes in it, the slight coldness of the water splashing, the click of the kettle going back on it’s stand, the boiling of the water, the smells wafting out of the fridge as you open it to get the milk etc etc
Showering – the feel of the water (this is great for imagining it washing away all your stress), the temperature in the room as it warms up and gets steamy, the smell of the soap, the look of the water dropping down, the shinyness of the taps, the sound of the water dropping etc etc
Brushing your teeth – the sensation of the toothpaste hitting your tongue, the sound of the brushing in your head, the different areas of your teeth, the sound of the water, the taste of it when you swill your mouth out, the coldness of the tap etc etc.
Lieing next to a child as they fall asleep – this is a great exercise because calming yourself will calm them more quickly. Focus on hearing their breathing, maybe the feel of their skin if they need you to stroke them, the temperature in the room and feel of the bed, then REALLY notice their hair, eyes, ears and hands.
During Walking Or Exercising
Anything from 5-30mins.
If you get a chance to go for a walk or a run, cycle or even a swim on your own, then you can extend the exercises above.
Start with a quick reconnect (you can do this on the move once you’ve practiced it a few times).
Use the 3 rules.
Plus be present by focussing on the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTE and TOUCH.
If you can be out in nature that is ideal as it is grounding, but needs must and a treadmill or pool will also work.
You will find that as it is probably a longer period of time that thoughts will start to pop into your head more often. I find it particularly difficult to do with without ideas for blog posts to pop in (I ask them to come back later!). You have 2 options on how to deal with these thoughts:
1) Notice what the thought was about, don’t beat yourself up, and move on to focussing on being present again.
2) Notice the thought and rather than ‘thinking’ about it, keep noticing it.
This is more tricky, but what you are aiming to do is to be ‘present’ with the thought or worry or stress. So don’t try to fix it, don’t think about it and don’t worry about it. Just notice it. How strong is it? Where does it affect your body? How strong is the effect? You are basically saying ‘yes, hello worry, you don’t need to worry, I’ve seen you’. Over time it should lessen it’s hold on you, a bit like an insistent toddler or dog that nags and nags until it knows you’ve seen it.
So there you have it, 3 different ways to add ‘meditation’ into your day as easy as pie. They follow the concepts behind Zen or Mindfulness meditations, but from the perspective of a busy mum, who hasn’t got time to study anything really complicated!
If I get a chance I’ll do a blog post soon about Shamanic meditation and the ways that you can use meditation to actually ‘answer’ questions or help you make decisions. It’s pretty cool!
Have a go and let me know how you do – if you have any questions, just pop them below in your comments.
I’m not talking about emptying your mind
21 thoughts on “Meditation for stressed out beginners with little time who can’t Ohm!”
Oh Lisa this couldn’t have come at a better time! My therapist told me last night that I need to start some sort of meditation / relaxation stuff and I just didn’t know where to even begin! Thanks so much, am totally saving this post to come back to when I need to press pause 🙂 xxx
I think that’s a very sensible therapist that you have got there @mummyneversleeps – let me know how you get on and do ask if you need some more tips.
Great tips on meditation – I practise it alot. I struggle with the mindfulness though. I know it’s very powerful, but I must prefer my head to be empty! Lovely post 🙂
@anya yep, I’m struggling with ‘getting’ the mindfulness thing – can’t manage an empty mind either though ;o)
Great article Lisa. Another way you can practice being present as a form of meditation is to be fully present with a child. Just be with them, sit nearby or interact supportively, but no talking or thinking. Totally observe them and physically interact lightly and supportively. For example, I was watching a two year old busying her self. She was climbing on furniture, chattering to herself, and checking things out in the room. I watched her with focus and detached involvement (observation and non-thinking involvement with love as the only emotion), steadied her when she needed it and was there for her, while I observed her without thinking, evaluating or analyzing. I did this for a half hour or more. The room was quiet, no background noise. I felt fully present, and afterward felt really wonderful. I bet she felt it too.
Oh yes @janis that is a lovely way of doing it, and one that our children would really appreciate too.
This will be soooo useful when my anxiety rears it’s ugly head again. As it is, i try and practice the relaxation techniques when i am trying to fall asleep. Thanks for another great post Lisa.
You might need to practice it while the anxiety is being quiet @Jess, rather than wait for it to kick in – it’s much harder then.
BTW I popped a comment on your blog with some tips for getting healthy without dieting and hypno-apps that could help, but I’m not sure if it took – let me know if it didn’t and I’ll try again.
I’m just getting into meditation Lisa, so really appreciate these tips. I think relaxation is the key to a lot of our regular worries 🙂
Oh well done @Mandy – let me know how these tips help you!
Hi, I wanted to share what helped me cope with my symptoms of fibromyalgia.
1) a few teaspoons a day of raw sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds (organic- so no pesticides are ingested). The seeds took away the sharp shooting pains that were getting out of control. Every few minutes all over my body. The pains for the most part stopped as long as I was taking the seeds.
2) juniper berries in capsule form also helps the symptoms be suppressed.
3) After dealing with the pains for many years I came upon a final solution for me by accident: One of my daughter’s refused to finish off her prescription of penicillin. It was sitting around for several weeks. So I decided to see if the penicillin would help me at all. It did! I hardly ever get any pain from the fibromyalgia symptoms any more. It’s been about 4 years now.
I wanted to share my story to help others. Please forward.
God Bless, Claire
Thank you so much @Claire – I’ve not heard that about the seeds.
I do find the concentrated cherry capsule berries work – I wonder if they are similar to the juniper?
Funnily enough I have heard that about antibiotics though – apparently some of us have the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, but it’s just a long running infection. As I think that mine started with a lymph infection, this is actually a big possibility – I’ll have a think about it, sadly I’m allergic to penicilin and definitely have had anti-biotics in the last couple of years.
Awesome meditation tips Lisa. I know for me I get relaxed when I’m doing my morning routine which involves showering, brushing my teeth, making a cuppa and visualising the day ahead in a positive way 🙂
Thanks @Di – yes it does make the day go better doesn’t it! good for you.
Meditation is a great way to do everything and yet have time for yourself. It’s getting rid of your fears, anxieties and living in the present.
Thank you shakti – looks like you know a lot about meditation too from your URL. Thanks for stopping by.
BTW you don’t need to add an extra comment with your URL for people to find you – it is in the comment. I have therefore removed your link – looks a bit spammy tbh.
Such brilliant simple ideas Lisa, thank you. I often try to be conscious in the moment and am slowly starting to be able to do it for more than a few seconds! My biggest challenge is the ‘to do’ list things that pop into my head – with so much to do, and not enough sleep, I panic that they won’t come back later if I ask them to – so sometimes I literally pause, write them down, and try clearing my mind again. Usually… my mind will let them go at that point. Such fab tips for mums here, though, will share 🙂
Thank you @Pippa so glad that you enjoyed them. One of my problems is that I get ‘ideas’ for stuff – so I ask them to wait in a little box that I can open on my return ;o) I know what you mean about the panic of forgetting though – and it’s certainly worth writing them down so that you can then enjoy being quiet for a bit.