Sometimes you just don’t have time to meditate.
It’s not that you don’t think you need to—you KNOW you need to meditate and generally slow down … you’ve heard about the benefits of practice and have probably even experienced them for yourself.
But you are literally back-to-back with the day’s responsibilities.
When you find yourself in a mid-day slump, stressing out over an impending deadline, or waking up too late for your normal meditation practice—again, that’s when bite-size meditations can save the day.
Bite-size meditations are five minutes or less—short enough to be able to squeeze into your busy day, and restorative enough to make a huge difference in your stress levels. Seriously, even one minute of one of these practices will do wonders. Sometimes you don’t even have time to search the Internet for a guided meditation or take your normal walk around the block to clear your head—and that’s when having a mini meditation on-hand can be your fool-proof way to tame your monkey mind.
For any of these practices, find a place that is quiet and distraction-free (if possible), sit up tall, and close your eyes. Set your smart phone timer to as many minutes as you have available (these work great for two- to five-minutes) and begin.
Start to slow down your breath.
Inhale on a slow count of 3
Hold your breath at the top for 3
Exhale through the nose for 3
Hold empty at the bottom for 3
Inhale on a slow count of 4
Hold at the top for 4
Exhale through the nose for 4
Hold empty at the bottom for 4
Inhale on a slow count of 5
Hold at the top for 5
Exhale through the nose for 5
Hold empty at the bottom for 5
Inhale on a slow count of 6
Hold at the top for 6
Exhale through the nose for 6
Hold empty at the bottom for 6
Repeat with a count of 6 until your timer goes off. Take one deep breath before opening your eyes.
Visualize the Breath
Start to bring all of your attention to your breath.
Picture your breath as a brightly colored balloon (color of your choosing).
As you inhale, visualize the balloon expanding and glowing brighter.
As you exhale, visualize the balloon deflating and dimming.
Maintain this visual of the colored balloon and your breath until your timer goes off. Take one deep breath before opening your eyes.
The So Hum Mantra
Start to slow down your breath and silently repeat the mantra “So Hum” to yourself, syncing the rhythm of the mantra to your breath.
As you inhale, silently repeat the word “So”.
As you exhale, silently repeat the word “Hum”.
Continue breathing and aligning the mantra with your breath.
The 2-Part Breath
Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly.
Inhale halfway to expand your belly, pause
Inhale the rest of the way to fill your lungs and expand your chest, then pause again.
Open your mouth and let it out with a sigh.
Repeat for 5-10 cycles.
Then seal your lips and continue your two-part inhale, and exhale slowly through the nose.
Begin by bringing awareness to your breath, in and out through your nose.
Identify something or someone that you’re your grateful for.
Visualize this person or thing in your mind and experience this person or thing with all of your senses: Bring to mind what it, he or she looks like, sounds like, smells like, feels like…
Reflect on what about this person or thing you are grateful for in your life. How does this person or thing make you feel?
Repeat with three different people or things in your life.