When you think about meditating, what do you picture?
Sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor? Incense burning? Maybe a Spotify mix of Tibetan singing bowls playing on your phone?
The reality is, there’s no right way to meditate. Trying to figure out how to meditate correctly only takes you further away from meditation.
You can meditate during your commute (preferably if you’re not driving…). You can meditate at your desk. You can meditate walking around the block at lunch.
You can even meditate in the bathroom.
The more accessible meditation is to us, the more it can become a welcomed part of our daily routine.
Including at work—which may seem like the least likely of places to meditate, but is probably an area of your life that could benefit from it the most.
While the beauty of meditation is that you don’t need anything in order to do it, there are plenty of helpful tools available today make it that much easier to find your Moment of Zen.
1. Stop, Breathe and Think
According to their website: “With this app, you can develop and apply kindness and compassion in your daily life.”
I really love this app both in its simplicity and its intention. Quite simply: stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, check in with how you’re feeling, and the app will recommend certain meditations (all only a few minutes long) based on your answers.
Developed by an amazing organization called Tools for Peace, Stop, Breathe & Think has found a way of using your phone—something we often turn to in order to escape reality—as an access point to our true selves.
The app is free to download, but asks you to subscribe ($8 a month for year subscription—not bad) to get access to their full library of meditations. Headspace calls itself “your gym membership for your mind”—if you’re new to meditation, this could be a really effective access point.
When you download Headspace, you get their Take 10 program for free, which will teach you some basic meditation skills in only ten minutes each day for 10 days.
As I said before, there’s no right way to meditate—which means even something like coloring could be a form of meditation.
Adult coloring books have been growing in popularity recently, and it’s no surprise why. Coloring is both calming and engaging—and it engages a part of our minds that we often neglect. It allows us to be creative, to think about color combinations, patterns, designs. And because it’s something so many of us have done at formative ages of our lives, there is something about coloring that I think takes us back to our true selves.
While old-fashioned coloring books, I think, are best, the Colorfly app is an awesome alternative for your phone or iPad, especially if you feel self-conscious about coloring in public or just don’t want to carry the supplies around to do it. Instead of opening Candy Crush (or whatever mindless App of the Week is trending), try creating something beautiful instead.
4. Voice Memos
The good news is, you likely already have this on your phone. (If you have an iPhone, it’s one of the Business category apps.)
Meditation can be an active experience—some people find running meditative even. I personally find journaling very meditative, but at its core, what’s so powerful is the catharsis. Releasing everything I’m holding in my head.
If I don’t have a chance to sit and write, recording a voice memo is just as powerful, if not more so. It lets me talk it out, as if I were talking to a supportive friend.
(And if you’re in public, you can just pretend you’re on the phone with that supportive friend.)
I can get my thoughts out faster this way, and often achieve that clarity and catharsis with more ease because of that. And because it’s all recorded, I can always go back and listen—or delete it and release all of those worries and concerns.
Regardless of which type of meditation is right for you, there’s one thing they all have in common:
You have to make the time.
Some part of your day, whether it’s five minutes or five hours, needs to be dedicated to meditation. If you’re struggling with finding the time, it simply means you haven’t created it.
You have five minutes—you always have five minutes. And if it can be no more than five minutes, then decide which five minutes of your day it will be, set the timer, and make that five minutes 100% dedicated to meditation.
That could simply be deciding that for the next five minutes, you are going to sit down and do nothing. You’re not going to solve anything, you’re not going to go through your to-do list, you’re not going to judge yourself for not getting enough done or for what you had for lunch. Not for these five minutes.
These five minutes are all about you.