Whether you’ve heard about it from friends in their yoga classes or read about it on blogs like this, you’ve likely already heard of meditation and some of the ways to bring it into your daily life. Many people like to meditate in the morning or use it as a coping mechanism for heading to bed. But what about if you’re traveling or constantly on the go? Those morning and evening meditations might make certain parts of the day better – but you still might be stressed when you’re actually going about your day.
There are phone apps like Headspace and Calm that many use for guided meditations. But that still doesn’t answer the question: can you meditate on the go? My answer would be yes. Meditation doesn’t have to be some hour long ordeal that takes up a large chunk of your day. Instead, you can break it up into smaller portions that may actually better serve you.
1) Whenever you have a moment to yourself, take five cleansing breaths.
It seems like common sense – but you would be surprised the power that just five breaths can have in your life. Stressed? Take a second and focus on your breathing. Angry at some car for cutting you off? Instead of angrily muttering under your breath, take some breaths. It not only stabilizes your heart rate, it also forces you to remind your body of the need for oxygen.
2) Mindfully notice your phone usage.
We’re all guilty of this. When there’s even a split second of ‘doing nothing’ – our instinct is to grab our phones. Instagram, Facebook and every social network just calls our name. As the very word suggests, meditation is about meditating (or self-reflecting) on yourself. Notice how often you’re tied to checking your phone and decide whether you think that’s healthy.
3) Say something kind to a stranger.
Now I know this doesn’t sound like meditation – but truthfully, meditation is about becoming more mindful and conscious in your day to day life. Why not improve the life of a stranger or friend by complimenting them or doing something kind. You may not know what kind of day the other person is having – but you could improve it with just one phrase. Being mindful of others and recognizing that we all deserve happiness is one of the best way to bring the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to your life.
4) Be silent and listen to the world around you.
On the opposite side of talking with people, there are the virtues of being silent and listening. Whether that means being an active listener in a conversation with a close friend or simply choosing to observe the subway car around you, watching the world is one way of meditating while you’re actually using public transit. You don’t need anything spiritual or special to do this, you just need yourself and your own thoughts.
5) Observe your inner thoughts
One of the things that meditation teaches us is the benefits of shutting down that inner dialogue. Especially when those thoughts tend to be negative, it’s not healthy to indulge self-doubt or self-hatred. So, while on the go, observe what you’re thinking and if it isn’t serving you – change the subject. Meditation is a practice, and you won’t be perfect right away – but it’s worth trying and constantly adjusting and noticing what works for you.