I have often recommended meditation to patients to help calm their mind and ease stress. Sometimes, I am met with puzzling looks: what does that mean? How do I meditate? Is it hard? Here are some simple ways to make meditation a part of your routine.
- Driving meditation: If you have a long commute to work, use that time to meditate! One of my favorites is quiet driving meditation. Turn off the radio, silence the phone, and just concentrate on your surroundings and your thoughts. Notice what comes to mind in the quiet of your car for the commute. Acknowledge thoughts and don’t judge them. Just like the cars passing by, so is your passing thought.
- Walking meditation: Take a moment to escape your desk at work or home, take a walk around the block without any other intention other than to be alone with your thoughts. As you walk, take slow, intentional, steps and notice your surroundings.
- Spiritual practice: Communicating with your higher spiritual connection is another great way to meditate. For some this means prayer, reading, or listening to music.
- Loving kindness: This is one of my favorite, easy mantras, to repeat under a social stressor when you may be faced with anger, unhappiness, or frustration toward another person. You can also repeat this mantra while thinking about loved ones near or far to send them peaceful energy: “May you be filled with loving kindness, may you be peaceful and at ease, may you be well.”
Give them a try and see which technique sticks for you!