While you read this, take a couple minutes to center yourself by focusing on your breath. Follow these steps below now, and every time you want to meditate.
1) Put your phone on silent or airplane mode.
2) Set a meditation timer with a nice alarm tone. That way you’re not tempted to look at a clock and you won’t need to worry about spending too much time meditating. You want to come out of meditation slowly, so don’t be in a hurry to open your eyes. Take a few moments to remain present in the stillness you’ve created. When you’re ready, gradually become aware of your body and surroundings.
3) Sit in a comfortable position. If you’re sitting on a cushion, feel your sit bones rooting you into the ground. If you’re sitting in a chair, place your feet firmly on the ground and feel your body weigh heavy in your chair.
4) Close your eyes, be still and sit up straight with your chin tucked in slightly. If you find that closing your eyes makes you sleepy, then softly stare at a spot on the floor. Maintain a small smile on your face as this helps you maintain a relaxed and peaceful experience.
5) Breathe deeply. Breath through your in and out through your nose deeply and slowly. Alternatively you can breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. Don’t force your breathing here – just breathe naturally and observe your breath without thinking about it.
- If you’re having trouble focusing on your breath, there are techniques to help:
- count the time it takes to inhale/exhale
- count the number of breaths you’re taking up to 10, then restart
- say the word “inhale” so slowly that it takes the entire inhale to finish saying the word and repeat for exhale.
6) Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts come and go and be at one with your breath. Sometimes it’s tough to calm your mind down, but focus on your breathing and what your body feels like. You can imagine a relaxing picture in your mind like waves on the beach, or bring your attention to parts of your body. Don’t think or analyze, just focus on your breath or the image.
7) Continue to purposefully watch your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its pathway as it enters your body and fills you with life. Imagine every cell in your entire body filling with air, from the top of your head down to your toes.
8) Then watch with your awareness as it works its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world.
9) Smile when you’re done and give yourself a high five! Be grateful that you had this time to yourself, that you stuck with your commitment to meditate, that you showed yourself that you’re trustworthy, where you took the time to get to know yourself and make friends with yourself. That’s an amazing two minutes of your life.