Another great “conscious strategy” to build your mindfulness muscles.
No time to sit on the cushion to reach nirvana? You’re not alone. Life gets busy and often time for ourselves is the first thing that is sacrificed in the name of success. The physical and spiritual benefits of meditation are well documented and here’s a way to tap into them without spending a lot of time. When life is hectic, your day is going south or when you need a quick energy refresh try a micro-meditation.
What are micro-meditations?
They are small, short bursts of meditations that can take as little as 30 seconds while still giving you the benefits of relaxation, stress management, and mental clarity.
One of the consistent challenges I hear from my clients is the difficulty in making time in their busy lives to meditate for 30 minutes. Micro-meditations are a great access point to build our meditation practice and are a great quick fix when you need it. Whether you are a beginning or a seasoned meditator, these little gems help you engage in your life with clarity and a calmer state of mind.
What do micro-meditations look like?
Very simply, take a few moments to step into mindfulness – breathing deeply, bringing your awareness into your body at the moment. Doesn’t seem like much right? This simple 30 second mediation before walking into an important meeting will make all the difference.
Body scans are a great way to use micro-meditations. Standing or sitting – this practice will make the difference on those long projects or nights when your focus and energy may be waning. Basically, take 1-2 minutes directing your mindfulness through your body – head to toe. It’s a great pick me up.
Body Scan Micro-Meditation
- Stand or sit with your fleet flat on the ground.
- Breathing deeply start with your feet, tighten them, and then relax them.
- Move to your calves and shines, tighten them and then relax them.
- Moving to your thighs and hamstrings, tighten and release.
- Your abdomen, lower back and butt, tighten and release.
- Move to your chest, upper back and shoulders, tighten and relax.
- Focus on your upper arms, tighten and relax.
- Your forearms, hands and fingers, tighten and relax.
- Moving to your throat, neck and jaw, tighten and relax.
- Then to the back of your head and face, tighten and relax.
- Moving to your lips, nose, eyelids and forehead, tighten and release.
- Take one deep breath in, seeing it move through your body, from the tip of your head down to the ends of your toes and fingers.
Belly Breath Micro-Meditation
- Place one hand on your chest and one on your belly.
- Breathe slowly, keeping your chest still and allowing your belly to rise and fall with each breath.
- On the inhale, breathe in new restorative energy.
- On the exhale, breathe out any old restrictive energy.
- Repeat for 5 – 10 breaths.
These small micro-meditations can be done multiple times a day. They are a short and easy access to your breath awareness. Being aware of your breath throughout the day will help you notice when you are beginning to feel stressed, agitated, distracted, or overwhelmed – and instead of disregarding it and bottling it up for later you can do a quick micro-meditation and have a clear mind to move forward.
The practice of using these little micro-meditations really gave me a boost in building my foundation to practice living mindfulness all day, in all situations. The rewards of practicing a life of mindfulness go beyond the spiritual and health benefits for me. There is a renewal of life that happens in these little 1-2 minute spirts of connection that support me through any glitches in my daily rhythm. These gems will definitely get your day back on track.