Mindfulness & Meditation For Busy People
If you’re a busy person, your best bet for adopting a new, mindfulness-filled lifestyle is to make a plan. Explore all the different options and decide on an approach that will work for you.
Meanwhile, here are twenty-one tips to provide you with shortcuts – the sort of tips that help, not distract!
- Back Trouble? Invest in a Meditation Chair
One reason many people avoid yoga-based meditations: Physical limitations. If you have back trouble or any other condition that makes sitting on a mat without support too painful, invest in a meditation chair that provides back support.
And these don’t have to be high-end, like the chair shown here. You can find many styles and makes on Amazon.com for as little as $29.95 USD.
- Be Mindful of Your Habitual Self-Talk
As you notice your thoughts, be aware of negative self-talk. Understand that you no longer have to accept negative things you are used to saying to yourself – in fact, never had to accept it.
The more you notice and note these repetitive, negative thoughts, the easier it will be to reframe them into thoughts that empower you.
- Be Mindful of Your Feelings
One thing you will notice as you practice mindfulness is your feelings … particularly those feelings that normally slip by you and trick you into traps like procrastination or stress. Acknowledge them. Bless them. Explore where they are coming from if you wish: But realize that you are not your feelings. (Say that aloud: “I am not my feelings”.)
- Realize that Meditation Should be Energizing as Well as Relaxing
Meditation isn’t always about relaxation. If you want it to energize you and not put you to sleep, don’t lie down to meditate … and find some energizing meditation music! (There’s plenty on YouTube!)
- Meditation is Not All About Bliss
Meditation also does not always bring feel-good visions and feelings. Be aware that meditation can cause past traumas and hurts to revisit your memory, as well as stir up powerful emotions. Don’t let that frighten you. Remember you can always find specific meditations for almost every situation online.
You will find meditations for releasing the past, for releasing trauma, for getting over a broken heart, for climbing out of depression, for soothing a restless mind, for overcoming fear – and much, much more.
- Always Dig Deeper
When doing self-examination exercises such as figuring out habits that don’t serve you, once you have come up with an answer, question it. Ask yourself, “why?”
But don’t stop there, once you’ve got that first answer. Take it one step further, and question that answer too. Then once you’ve got that particular answer, keep on asking, through as many levels as it takes until you run out of answers or feel sure you’ve finally hit upon your truth. If you do that, you will gain insight much faster than most of the entrepreneurial meditating population … who tend to stop at the first “why”.
And the quality of your insights will be much higher.
- Augment your Mindfulness and Meditation with Tapping (EFT)
Nowadays many entrepreneurs have discovered a powerful aid to mindfulness exercises – tapping, based on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). This is a simple form of acupressure, used by entrepreneurs like Denise Duffield-Thomas and Gina Decker. Both incorporate tapping in their instructional videos.
Learn about Tapping from The Tapping Solution website.
- Be Mindful in All Your Activities
Don’t just reserve mindfulness for meditation periods! Practice mindfulness in everything you do – Eating, exercising, working, socializing and helping others, just to name a few.
- “But Meditation is Boring”
If you get to this stage after deeply questioning your reactions and feelings, be aware that it’s usually a good sign. It may mean you are ready to move on to another level.
If you’re bored straight away, the first time you try meditation, your mind is probably spinning too fast and needs to find a rhythm. Meditate for shorter periods – but make sure you keep meditating every day.
- Don’t Meditate While Driving
Avoid playing your favorite meditation tracks while driving. You may find them too relaxing and zone out! And remember to be mindful of your surroundings.
- Start Small
When you first explore meditation, you’ll be working on getting into the habit of meditation, creating new neural pathways that make it your new path of least resistance. It’s better to meditate five minutes, every day, than overdo it one day, then skip altogether the next.
- Remember to Use your Breath to De-Stress
You can do this anywhere: Not just in the middle of a full-on meditation. Sitting on the train, riding in a car, watching your daughter’s hockey game, going through the grocery store checkout. Breathe in through your nose deep down into your belly and pause before exhaling. Then slowly exhale through your mouth.
If you wish, accompany these slow breaths with calming thoughts.
- Breathe Properly While Exercising
Many people get it wrong: They inhale before exertion and exhale with the exerting move. For example, lifting weights: Inhale before raising the weights, exhale as you lift – that is the correct way.
- Find a Mantra
A mantra is a word or phrase that aids in meditation when repeated while meditating. In its purest Hindu or Buddhist form, it is a sacred chant. But whether you ascribe to this belief or not, there is scientific evidence that chanting a mantra while meditating alters our brainwaves and lowers blood pressure.
15. Use Affirmations as Mantras
If there is a particular short affirmation that really resonates with you in a positive way, try using it as your mantra. (Example: “I trust the process of Life”.)
The easiest way to find inspiring affirmations? Don’t waste your time looking through Affirmation sites (most of which just want to sell you something: Just search Pinterest! You’ll find thousands of affirmations to choose from, presented as beautiful graphics that you can print out and even pin up as a visual reminder.
- Start Your Day with Gratitude
One of the best ways you can begin to be mindful: Train yourself to think of three things you are grateful for every morning – before you even open your eyes.
- Give Yourself a Time Out
Next time you are in a bad mood or seriously stressed over something, give yourself a literal time out. Leave the room you are in, find a quiet place, and take ten minutes to process, de-stress, meditate or otherwise be kind to your mind and body.
- Make Meditation an Adventure
Keep a journal. Blog about it. Think about the insights you are experiencing. Set goals. Combine it with gratitude. Be kind to yourself. Keep it light-hearted. Enjoy the ride.
- Meditate with Others
It can be tremendously inspiring to meditate with a friend, a partner or even a small group. Other people can keep you going when you’re ready to give up. Others can help you with tips and observations. You can share experiences and inspirations and boost each other’s moods and energies.
- Listen Without Judgment
A wonderful way to be mindful is to listen deeply to others. Usually, our monkey-chattering minds are too busy thinking of the next task we have to do or formulating what to say when the person we are supposed to be listening to stops talking.
Really listen to them instead. Note any assumptions you are making and discard them. (Assumptions stop us from really hearing what people want to convey.)
- Celebrate Infinite Variety
Realize that there is no one perfect way to practice mindfulness, meditation or guided visualization. There is no one perfect way to deeply relax.
But there is a perfect way for each of us to do these things. We just have to explore, experiment and decide on our best choice.
In the meantime, however, don’t be too quick to discard a style of meditation. Enjoy your explorations. You will quickly find your favorite meditation music, guided meditation videos or audio files, positions, clothing, and routines.
“Keep a journal. Blog about it. Think about the insights you are experiencing. Set goals. “
And do stick with building your new habits. Remember, if you are telling yourself you really don’t have time, that’s probably when you need meditation and mindfulness most of all.