Meditation is a powerful tool when used and practiced regularly. Here are the best times to meditate (for a better day) and a quick meditation to get you started.
- First thing in the morning. Within a few minutes of waking up. Why? because your conscious mind isn't quite firing on all cylinders yet and you're subconscious is still very active. Meaning you can have a direct impact on your subconscious and "program" yourself to have a great day.
- Just before you turn in for the evening. Reason? Same as above except in reverse. Now you're winding down for the night. Your conscious mind begins to quiet and your subconscious comes online. Perfect time to implant a positive thought. Your subconscious mind will continue working on that thought for the rest of the evening while you sleep. So you can have sweet dreams and wake up rested in the morning.
You might be a little sleepy at first...
If you're anything like me then you might be a little sleepy when you first wake up. If you go right into meditation you may actually fall asleep. So here's a tip: to fight this off, brew some coffee. Put a little cream and cinnamon in it. Get it just how you like it... take a few sips. Take a few deep breaths. Then get into it.
Personally, I give myself just a few minutes to wake up a little before going right it. This way I can be sure (errr...pretty sure) that I won't fall asleep sitting up.
Quick 5 minute meditation to get you started
Take 1 minute to breathe deeply.
Sit comfortably in a chair with your hands on top of your thighs. Keep your legs about hip distance apart. Place your feet flat on the floor. You can have your eyes open or closed...whatever you prefer.
Take some deep breaths for the next minute or so. Focusing on counting your breaths. Count in for 4 and exhale for a count of six.
Side note, don't stress if its not exactly 1 minute. Simply estimate the time and relax.
Take 1 minute to relax.
Stop counting your breaths. Now simply notice how the air feels going in and out of your lungs.
Notice how deep or shallow you're breathing.
How does this compare to your normal breathing pattern? Most people take shallow breaths throughout the day. This deprives their body of oxygen which, in turn, lowers your energy and raises your stress levels.
Take 1 minute to focus.
Maintain focus on your breathing.
When a thought comes into your mind (your "to-do" list, work stuff), picture it as a ship passing on the horizon. Just let it pass and try not to engage with it.
If the thought persists, simply acknowledge it. You can also take a moment to jot it down on a piece of paper next to you. Then get back into your meditation.
Take 1 minute to Just be.
Let go of any focus on your breath. Just sit there and comfortably remind yourself that there's nothing you need to fix at this moment.
Spend a moment practicing gratitude.
Picture something that you're grateful for (time with loved ones, the abundance that surrounds you, the opportunity to meditate).
Then slowly come back to the room you're sitting in. Notice how you feel in the space you're in. the weight of your body against the chair. How relaxed your muscles are. How steady your breath is.
Then stand up and carpe-diem! Calm and collected of course.