If you’re like most people, sitting for an hour of uninterrupted meditation practice each day can be a challenge.
For many, just getting a few minutes of “me-time” requires some serious scheduling, not to mention shuffling of work, household, and parenting duties.
Regardless of whether you have a strong hour-long practice or struggle to sit in meditation for 5 minutes each morning, it’s important to make time to check in with yourself throughout the day. Even if it’s just for a few moments, stepping back from your responsibilities, to-do lists, and endless distractions to reconnect can be immensely beneficial.
Regular meditation practice promotes emotional harmony which is vital for personal wellness. Meditation offers you many mental and physical benefits and can help improve your overall health, productivity, relationships, and mood. By using self-focus and breath to anchor your awareness to the present moment, mindful meditation offers you a reprieve from the stressors of a wandering mind.
Whether your day started out with sunshine and rainbows or was dark and gloomy until now, this 2-minute meditation is your chance to recalibrate for the rest of the day. See for yourself how much of a difference 2 minutes can make with this simple meditation.
Simple 2-minute meditation
Where am I?
Acknowledging where you are at this very moment is a great way to stop the mind’s wandering right in its tracks. Wherever you find yourself, begin to notice things about your environment. What do you hear, smell, notice about this place? What’s the temperature like?
I am here, on the subway, at my desk, in my room at home…
What am I doing?
Become aware of what you’re doing at this moment. If you are sitting, take notice of how you are sitting, what you are sitting on, and if you are fidgeting or calm.
I am sitting on a bench, a chair, my yoga mat on the floor…
How does my body feel?
Tune in to how your body is feeling right now. Perhaps you’ve been sitting at your desk for too long and your body is sore and urging you to get up and walk around. Maybe you’ve been on the go and your body needs to take a break. By silencing our internal chatter, we can begin to listen to our bodies. Take a few moments to scan from your head to your toes and notice any sensations you feel.
My body feels tense.
My neck and shoulders are stiff, my stomach is in knots, my back is tight…
My body feels relaxed.
My neck and shoulders are relaxed, my stomach is content, my back is at ease…
What does my mental landscape look like?
Step back and take notice how your mental landscape is looking. Are there thoughts recycling in your mind or any overwhelming feelings that you find yourself getting stuck on? Emotions manifest themselves differently in the physical body and greatly influence the way we feel.
I can’t stop thinking about this meeting, I wish he would call me, I can’t believe she did that again…
My mind is peaceful and calm. I am connected with my breath.
What are 3 things that I am grateful for?
As you are coming out of your meditation, take a moment to reflect on 3 things that you are grateful for. Gratitude is an incredibly beneficial practice on its own. It has been linked with improving sleep, boosting your immune system, increasing happiness, and improving romantic relationships.
Regardless of what kind of mindset you were in coming into your practice be sure to leave this space on a positive note, reflecting on what you appreciate in life.
I am grateful for the food I just ate. For having clean beautiful clothes to wear. For my family and friends.
Closing your practice
It is very important that you are mindful when closing your practice. Instead of just jumping back into whatever you were doing earlier, be aware that you are now leaving a meditative state.
A good way to close your practice with 3 big breaths. Allow yourself to take one full breath, deep into your belly and when you are ready, exhale it completely. Release all of the stale air from your lungs and make room for fresh new oxygen.
I am breathing in, I am breathing out.
When you become mindful of your environment, actions, body, and mood you connect with present moment awareness.
Becoming aware of how your body feels as well as your thought patterns is highly beneficial. If you make a habit of checking in with your body, you will notice particular trends such as muscle aches that set in after long bouts of sitting at your desk.
Afternoon headaches that kick in after heavy binges of morning coffee. An upset tummy that kicks in after stressful meeting. Becoming aware of triggers before they set off a reaction can save you from much unnecessary suffering.
One of the greatest challenges with mindful practice is staying aware even when you aren’t actively sitting down in a formal practice. Checking in with yourself throughout the day even for just a few minutes is itself a great practice.
After all, the more you practice, the easier it becomes to switch between active meditation and rest periods.
Take 2 minutes out of your day and give it a try!