Too busy to meditate? Rohan Gunatillake from meditation app Buddhify talks us through five different ways to meditate on the go…
1. On your phone
Know what it feels like to use your phone while you use it. While browsing Instagram or reading some content, feel the weight of the device, the smoothness of the screen as you scroll, the textures and bumps. It might sound simple but this is body awareness, the most foundational mindfulness technique there is and if you do it when on your phone, then some part of you is present. Also, it turns every app into a mindfulness app.
2. On the train
Feel the vibrations of the carriage as you sit or stand on the way into work. Most of us spend our time into work worrying about what’s to come and the way back ruminating on the thing that went wrong in the day. Drop out of thoughts and into your body using this technique, again simple body awareness. It can be quite fun to really feel how dynamic travelling can be and its a nice way to engage and feel part of the space around you.
3. When walking
Try sending kind thoughts to random people in the street around you. This is based on a very classic technique called loving kindness and all it involves is choosing a person at random and sending them thoughts such as ‘may you be well’, ‘I hope you have a good day’. It is a simple and maybe even silly idea, but what it does is train us in kindness and help us drop out of our own personal soap opera just for a moment or two. And it can feel great.
4. When working
There you are trying to get something done, but at the same time you’re getting distracted and taken away every five minutes, checking your phone, your browser…anything at all other than your actual task. If that sounds familiar at all try this… see what you can learn about your distraction process? How does it work? What stages are there? How early in the process can you catch it? Doing this actually helps short-circuit the distraction process entirely and you’ll actually get shit done. And it works because the more aware we are of our patterns and habits, the less power they have over us.
5. When things are tough
Give your mindstate a name. If there’s anger, call it anger. If there’s self-doubt, call it self-doubt. You can even do this outloud, but that maybe works best when you’re by yourself. What this technique does is help you observe your difficult emotion rather than be it. There is a world of difference between ‘I am useless’ and ‘there is self-doubt’ or ‘self-doubt is happening’. Naming our emotions in this way is very powerful when dealing with the difficult but learning to do it regularly will level up your emotional awareness all day round. You can also take it to the next step by saying hello to your emotions or even welcoming them as friends. Because tough emotions don’t go away, so we might as well make friends with them.