Meditation has long been encouraged by experts as an accessible and effective stress-management technique. But with the unprecedented task of working where you sleep, while juggling home-schooling your kids, washing endless dishes and navigating a scary news climate, more of us are in search of tactics to stay sane. Which means you finally may be willing to give meditation a try.
It can be scary at first: You're supposed to sit alone, in silence with all of your thoughts, yet not let them distract you. It sounds nearly impossible right? Well, studies have found countless health benefits to meditation, so there's definitely something to it.
Though it might be best to ease your way into it. You don't need to start meditating for 30 minutes at a time. Instead, start with these short, 1-minute meditations that can help you slow down, breathe and focus on something other than your thoughts. Watch the video below for guided meditations, or read the instructions below.
1. Basic breathing meditation
Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your heart. Slowly breathe in through your nose for four counts, slowly breathe out for four counts. This is best to do before bed or right when you wake. It will help you start your day with clarity, or end your day on a peaceful note.
2. Nostril breathing meditation
Use your right thumb to plug your right nostril, breathe in through the left. Then plug your left nostril with your index finger and breathe out through the right nostril. Then breathe in through the right nostril, and out through the left. Keep alternating. This will help you balance your energy.
3. Neck stretch meditation
Drop your right ear to your right shoulder and slowly breathe in, and then blow out slowly through your mouth. Think about pushing out any and all tension. Repeat this four times total, then switch sides. This meditation can help to get rid of head and neck tension, and help you find your way to physical and mental serenity.
4. Abdominal meditation
You can do this while waiting in line, or sitting at your desk. Bring your awareness to your mid-section by pulling the naval in towards the spine. Breathe out, hold the breathe at the bottom, and then slowly release and breathe back in. Hold the breath at the top, and then slowly breathe out pulling the naval back in and contracting the abs. Repeat this a few times.
5. Moving meditation
Start in standing position with your palms together and take a deep breath in through the nose. Place one hand on your hip, lower the other arm and exhale as you bend to the side. Come back to center and inhale, and exhale to the other side. Repeat this, alternating sides each time and focusing on your breath.
6. Tree pose meditation
Plant one foot firmly on the ground, turn your opposite knee out and press your foot into your ankle, calf or above your knee. Place palms together and focus on slowly breathing in and out. If you're having trouble balancing, choose a point on the ground and fix your eyes there. Breathe here for 60 seconds. Then repeat on the opposite side.