Too busy in your day to meditate? I hear you. When we have a lot on our plate or something disrupts our routine a meditation class or practice can easily go by the way side. Or you may have never practiced it in the first place and that’s fine.
Here are 3 simple, easy techniques that can give you the same great benefits of meditation like improved concentration, more energy and increased happiness without really doing it.
- Breathe gently and slowly through your nose.
Sounds counterintuitive right? It is not uncommon to be told to breathe deeply and especially through your mouth. However, mouth breathing and deep breathing aren’t the answers. In fact, according to Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage, breathing through the mouth using just the upper chest increases our flight or fight response and makes us more agitated and stressed.
Focus on breathing through your nose gently instead. Try this:
- Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest.
- Focus on the airflow in and out of your nose. No need to force your breathing or count the number of seconds.
- Aim for gentle, slow breathing.
- Slow it down to the point where you feel air hunger because air hunger signifies that CO2 has increased in the blood, which is actually a good thing.
The body breathes to get rid of excess CO2 so the air hunger you feel when you do this exercise doesn’t mean your oxygen levels have dropped. When you work on slowing down your breathing, CO2 increases in the blood and your blood vessels open up, making you feel warmer.
When to do it: in front of the TV, in the shower.
- Use Becalm Balls.
These little squishy balls called Becalm Balls are based on carniosacral therapy – a technique used to improve the functioning of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
The balls induce something called a “stillpoint”. A stillpoint essentially shuts off your body’s response to stress. Your central nervous system and its fluids switch to a state of calmness from its usual state of alertness. It also helps ease muscle tension and helps improve the functioning of your nervous system.
When to do it: in the morning when you hit snooze or right before you go to bed. Just place the balls under your head at the same level as your eyes. You can start slow by just using it for 3-5 minutes a day and work yourself up to more if need be.
- Unleash the power of prayer.
Spiritual meditation meaning prayer was actually found to be more effective than secular meditation, according to a study done by Wachholtz and Pargament at Bowling Green State University. They found that the group who practiced spiritual meditation had greater decreases in anxiety and more positive mood, spiritual health, and spiritual experiences.
Say a simple prayer out loud, in your head or anyway you want to do it. You can ask for help, healing, happiness or more health in your life. Anyone can do it regardless of your background or beliefs.
When to do it: in the elevator, on your commute to work, in front of your computer- any time of day works.
If you’re interested in learning more ways to relax download your free guide “7 Quick & Easy Ways to Relax” here.