There’s so much information about “how to” meditate. I’ve read countless books and techniques. All of them have been great, truthfully. However, I believe there’s no one-size-fits all way to meditate. You have to practice what feels right to you.
I’m a pretty hyper person (in a good way). I have a busy and creative mind with lots of ideas spinning around. You can’t tell me to sit still for an hour let alone, 20 minutes. I’m just not wired that way.
For me, the best form of meditation comes in movement, especially if I’m feeling agitation or indecision. A nice brisk walk with a focus on deep breathing always does a world of good.
On the other hand, I have learned to establish a stillness routine. When I’m experiencing the feelings of tiredness or fatigue, often I still want to run around like a chicken. However, I’m aware that remaining in a constant state of motion with no down time wouldn’t serve me emotionally, mentally or physically.
In James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, he describes that, “Rather than trying to do something amazing from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your willpower and motivation will increase, which will make it easier to stick to your habit for good.”
He recommends starting at 1% of your goal and increasing it each day by 1%. This is totally doable. For example, I’m trying to create the great habit of drinking an 8 oz. glass of water each morning. I’m terrible with being consistent about drinking those 8 ounces. So, I started with a sip each morning. I did this for a week. It’s about a month later and now I’m up to 4 ounces each morning.
If I had tried to go with the entire 8 oz. from the start, I’d fail. I’m just not a big drinker but I know that it’s very important to cleanse one’s organs upon rising. It’s also a good practice, in general. I tried this same technique with my meditation practice. I started with closing my eyes while sitting in a quiet space for one minute.
Even in that one minute, my brain wanted to interject, “Time for coffee!” or “You need to write that article by 7 a.m.” Ugh. It can be difficult! However, this should not stop you from trying something new to quiet your mind even if only for a few moments.
Here are some ways that I enjoy practicing meditation or what I prefer to call, quieting the mind. Think of the following as, “Minute to Win it Meditation Practices”
- Listen to birds
- Soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts or fragrant oil
- Lay in the grass with eyes open or closed
- Stare at the sky and moon
- Take a very slow walk with a focus on deep breathing
- Take a brisk walk with a focus on deep breathing
- Lock yourself in a bathroom and take 3 deep conscious breaths (I did this at work but now that we’re all home, I think this would work)
- Stare at your hands and see your mother’s, father’s, grandmother’s, grandfather’s hands
- Pick pine needles off a pine sprig and sniff
- Close your eyes at your desk for one minute and breathe
- Stare at a tree–every part of it without conceptualizing it
- Observe the stillness of your dog or cat.
- Observe your pet fish (you can learn a lot from fish)
- Flip a sand timer and watch the sand go down
- Sit in lotus position for a couple of minutes and breathe
- Put your phone on “do not disturb”
- Play with putty or sensory toy
- Sit in the woods -or-
- Make tent in your house with blankets and sit underneath it
- Focus on the flame of a candle
- Stretch your body
- Bless your food before eating it
- Close your eyes and express gratitude for one thing
- Close your eyes and bless someone you love
- Close your eyes and bless yourself
- Garden or plant something
- Sing a song or chant a mantra
- Drink a cup of herbal tea
- Send a message of love and appreciation to nature
- Send a message of love and appreciation to Source Energy
- Read something that is uplifting
- Count to 100
- Sniff an essential oil such as lavender, vanilla or clove
- Observe your pet sleeping, mimic their breathing pattern
- Go for a bike ride around the block
- Go for a drive
- Walk barefooted outside
- Let the sun warm your face
- Jump through a sprinkler
- Draw or write a positive message with chalk on your driveway or side walk
- Pick up sticks in the yard