Meditation is a beautifully simple practice that many imagine as hard and time-consuming. However, in just 3 minutes, you may complete a session of mindfulness meditation in easy steps.
Just 3 minutes each day. Three minutes is something that anyone can squeeze into their day; it is just 0.2 percent of 24 hours.
Our modern-day minds are often full, and chaotic. It’s getting increasingly hard to pursue a single idea from start to finish. Following those wildly racing, uncontrolled thoughts can lead us to mental fatigue.
Mindfulness is a way to get your mind out of chaos and into tranquility.
A daily habit of mindfulness meditation can help transform your mind from stressed and confused to focused, productive, and calm. You only need to do it for a week to see the benefits.
Today, we explore how to meditate mindfully when you are short on time. If you want to grab a full beginner’s guide to mindfulness meditation, go here.
Mindfulness Meditation Easy Steps: Practice It On The Go
Essentially, mindfulness meditation involves just three steps:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
- When your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath.
Let’s take a look at how we can complete a session of mindfulness meditation in just 3 minutes:
• Find yourself a place where you can sit for 3 minutes without any distractions.
• Allow yourself some moments to settle into a comfortable position before beginning this mindfulness session. Take a few deep, diaphragmatic breaths to stimulate your vagus nerve and relax.
• You can start whenever your body is ready. Close your eyes gently. Give your mind a few moments to relax, breathing in and out gently.
• At first, simply notice your body, the points of contact between you and the place you are seated.
• Then, find out what else you observe. What does it feel like to be in your body right now?
• You will have plenty of thoughts at the start, and this is natural. The mind chatter becomes loud when you stop all your activities that had been drowning it out. It can make you feel uncomfortable and try to jolt you out of your meditation.
• Hold on through the discomfort of having so many thoughts. When you have heard them all, there will be tranquility. Actually, you should praise yourself for being able to hear your mental chatter, as this indicates that you have taken the first step toward meditation and self-awareness.
• Breathe deeply. And observe your thoughts appearing and disappearing. Observe the difficult emotions and unpleasant memories that surface, and accept them without judgment. Sit with the discomfort. Don’t get ruffled at this point. This is the essence of it, merely being mindful of all that you notice and allowing them to occur without reacting.
• Tune your awareness into your breathing. Follow your breath as it flows from your nostrils to your chest and out.
• What else do you observe? Slow down and tune in to what’s going on inside you. If your body aches in any area, such as your shoulders or neck, observe it with compassion, not criticism or apathy.
• Keep your eyes closed and remain mindful of your breath and body. Now gradually let your awareness expand and embrace the space around your body.
• Feel the air and sense the objects around you, like the humming of a fan or the ticking of a clock, allowing them to be as they are.
• Simply notice and accept everything as it is, without trying to change anything.
• Your mindful state allows everything, including yourself, to simply be. There is nothing to do and nothing to judge.
• If your mind wanders, and it will, don’t blame it or shame yourself. Simply return your attention to your sense of breath, body, and being in the present moment, in the surrounding environment.
• A meditating mind that keeps wandering off doesn’t indicate you have failed at meditation; in fact, this is precisely where real meditation starts. Meditation is not forcing control over your runaway mind. Rather, it is gently showing it where it must be, time and again.
• Finally, begin to return your focus to the real world. Roll your shoulders and wiggle your fingers and toes to become more and more aware of your physical sensations, while remaining mindful of what you’re doing.
• Slowly open your eyes to the world around you. Carry this awareness of the present moment with you and enjoy the rest of your beautiful day.
• Come back to it every day. Your meditation becomes a regular practice when you turn it into a habit and make it a part of your daily routine. Find out how you can build any habit using psychology.
How To Sit For Mindfulness Meditation
• Find a quiet spot to meditate, especially if you’re new to meditation and are easily bothered by outside noises.
• If you can’t get away from a noisy environment, convince yourself that those sounds will only enhance your practice and help you go deeper inside yourself. It won’t be easy at first, but those noises will start to disturb you less.
• Meditate at the same time and in the same place every day until it becomes an automatic habit. Make it a point to do it every day at the same time so that your body starts to crave for it, much like the dogs of Pavlov.
• Find a comfortable seat. It may be a chair, a bed, or a cushion on the floor. In the beginning, sit against a wall or your bed’s headboard to keep your back supported and straight.
• Mindfulness meditation demands a straight-back posture because it helps the lungs stay in a state where they may expand to their full capacity. A hunched posture prevents it.
• In the rare condition, you cannot sit, adopt a lying posture with your back touching the floor.
• Keep your upper arms beside your trunk and let your hands rest loosely on your lap.
• Drop your chin slightly and keep your eyes ‘looking’ up, behind closed eyelids. Let your tongue gently rest on your palate.
• Feel your breath. Feel your belly rise as you inhale deeply and fall as you exhale fully.
• It is our mind’s nature to wander from the task at hand, mostly when it finds the task boring or difficult.
• Of course, mindfulness meditation is difficult at the start. So, as you sit, be prepared with the knowledge that your mind will wander.
• Remember, you can’t fail at mindfulness. Because the moment you realize your mind has wandered, you have noticed its shift from the present task to an imagined task. It’s not failing.
• When your mind wanders away from where you want it to be, gently invite it to return to your breath. Every time it happens, urge it to come back without criticizing or chastising it for losing focus.
• Sitting for a meditation session every day may seem hard at first. Tell yourself that it will only take 3 minutes of your day. As you persist with it, it becomes easier to invite yourself into a practice of mindfulness meditation.
• Finally, don’t try too hard, and let go. When we stop chasing the mindful state with all our might, and let go of the struggle to settle into meditation, it alights on us.
How To Bring More Mindfulness Into Life Without Meditating
You can bring more mindfulness into your daily life by being mindful without meditating.
Almost any task you do in a day, you can do it mindfully.
- Whether it is brushing your teeth, sitting around, having your lunch, talking to friends, staring at the autumn clouds, or doing gentle exercises like walking or yoga, you may do them all with more mindfulness.
- You can practice mindfulness by simply being aware of your thoughts, reactions, emotions, and feelings at various points during your day. From time to time, ask yourself, “What is that emotion that I am feeling now?”
- Stopping to smell the roses is a mindful activity. So is practicing slow eating. And so is taking off your shoes and socks and feeling the ground.
- Taking just 10 seconds to take in two deep breaths while telling yourself you are letting go of your stress is another easy mindful act.
- Mindfulness is also in taking a pause before saying something or reacting to someone’s behavior.
Even if we are too busy to meditate, we may practice mindfulness if we learn to incorporate it into our daily lives. Mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful writing are three ways to be mindful without meditating.
Did you know that hugging a cow has become a form of healing meditation?
Mindfulness is about noticing the happenings at the moment. It is about understanding an issue with full awareness in a non-judgmental way.
Mindfulness = Non-judgmental Awareness of The Present
It’s not about changing or even improving anything. The change can occur later, and you will be able to plan for it much better if you have in-depth knowledge of the issue.
Learn about some other amazing benefits of mindfulness: 13 Benefits Of Mindfulness At Work (3 Of Which Are Deep).
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, mindfulness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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