10 Easy Ways to Squeeze in Meditation When You’re Beyond Busy.
As a mom to a two-year-old, a psychology professor and a personal development coach, amongst other titles…. time is hard to come by.
A few years ago, my self-care regimen was put on the back burner quite often. In 2016; however, I found that not carving out time for myself was life threatening. I found myself falling flat on my face while leaving work one day and I was in and out of a comma-like-state under hospital care for over three months.
The culprit…. Burnout. Just like a car with gasoline, if we do not fill ourselves up, we too will stop running.
I’ve now learned that self care and meditation are not luxuries to people who have time, but are necessities for everyday living. By carving out time to meditate, you actually make more time because your brain returns to a relaxed state and you can focus more.
By squeezing in 15 minutes to meditate, you also lower cortisol levels and reduce tension on your amygdala and hippocampus (the parts of our brain that are responsible for fight or flight responses and memory.)
Meditating allows the brain to hit certain brain waves similar to sleep which allows for relaxation and rejuvenation. By meditating, you actually make the time you do have worth more while because you return in a calmer, more alert state.
A recent meta-analysis study on the effects of mindfulness meditation on the brain was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia. The study, titled “Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners concluded that the brains of meditators were structurally different from those of non-meditators. For instance, the anterior cingulate cortex – the area associated with controlling impulses and maintaining attention – was found to have more tissue mass. The brains of consistent meditators were also found to have thicker tissue in those regions responsible for body awareness, enhanced focus, stress management and attention control.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Meditation Especially When You Think You Don’t Have Time
1. Download an App and play the guided meditation 15 minutes before bed
2. Play a meditation CD while driving in heavy traffic
3. Do deep breathing exercises for the first 15 minutes of your lunch break
4. Go to a Yoga class
5. Go over affirmations when you first wake up in the morning
6. Participate in FitBits deep breathing breaks
7. Attend a meditation workshop
8. Listen to guided meditations while on a walk
9. Sit in the sauna after the gym and listen to healing/reiki music and meditate
10. Get a message and meditate while you are getting pampered