Mindful Misc

Mindful Driving

Meditations to do on your commute

On the train or bus (for mindful walking, keep reading), there are a whole heap of apps available that can help you with this, but the simply clock timer on your mobile phone works just as well. Set yourself a one minute or 60-second timer. Close your eyes. On any commute, meditation can look a lot like snoozing, so rest assured, you are in good company.

The following 60 seconds is all about the breath. Being consciously aware of your breath doesnt require any specific kind of slow or deep breathing. Simply try to remain aware of when you’re breathing in; when your holding; when you release; and when your breathing out again.

What you will discover is that although your aiming to focus on your breath for only 60 seconds, your mind does wonder. Be kind to yourself. It is not the mindful meditation task of stopping or somehow training your thoughts. Simply listen and acknowledge. Whenever you can, bring it back to the breath. As your thoughts flit from a to do list, a number of mental reminders, gently bring your thoughts back for only 60 seconds to the task in hand. The inhale and exhale of breath. Can you catch the moment when you move from inhale to hold? When you choose to release and that feeling of relaxation as the breath returns up through stomach, chest and out of nostrils and mouth.

Well done. You’ve just carved 60 seconds of your commute out for you and only you. Maybe tomorrow you’ll set your timer for 120 seconds; 2 minutes of peaceful, blissful breathing.

Stress reducing meditations

The second third of your day, if we’re working on the CBT approach to daily stress management. Below are three different types of mindful mediation practices designed to suit different environments that we might encounter during a working day. This doesn’t always apply of course, but in the mindful breaks exercises; you will find useful tips that can apply to any type of day.

Quick meditations you can do at your desk

You’re about to embark on a new task or feeling frustrated with the task in hand. Now is the time to practice a mindful grounding technique that takes less than a minute.

If you are sitting, focus on the placement of your feet on the ground. Where can you feel the slight pressure of the physically connection with your shoes and then the floor below. Is it comfortable? Can you feel your socks or tights around your heels, your ankle. Are your feet warm, cold? Is there a draft, any breeze that you can feel against your skin?

Now move up to the next physical connection. Your bottom against the seat. At this point it’s only natural that you’re going to correct your posture a little. Bring the thoughts back to those areas where you can feel the added warmth, slight pressure of the chair where it contacts with your body.

Your hands are an obvious next stop. Where do arms and wrists rest against the desk or keyword. How do the different materials feel against your skin; the wood of the desk slightly warmer than the metal of the keyboard.

Welcome back. You just took a mindful moment and considered yourself within your surroundings. End your practice with a couple of caring inhales and relaxing exhales. Drop your shoulders as you breath out and feel the pride that in that hectic work environment you found time for you.

Mindful meetings

Meetings were, for me, a source of unwanted anxiety. Before practising mindful meditation I would often feel “caught out” embarrassed to have to leave the room as the physical symptoms of anxiety washed over me without warning.

Now I find that when anxiety appears, I know where to go and how to cope. I can centre myself so that if I do choose to get up and take 5 (you can you know) I know I’m ok with how I feel and have mindfulness on my side.

Meditation breaks and how to take them without anyone noticing

Evening meditations

Mindful cooking

Mindful walking, meditations on the move

Bedtime hygiene and mindful good nights