You’re busy, rushed, and occasionally overwhelmed. Exactly the type of person who could use some quiet time, but who’s got that kind of time? You do. If you can squeeze two or three minutes out of your schedule, you can learn to meditate.
Meditation can help soothe body and spirit. It’s a time out from the stresses of everyday living and can help you feel more focused.
There are many meditation techniques, but your practice doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. You can start with a few minutes a day to focus solely on your breathing. As it becomes a ritual, you can try using a mantra and lengthening your meditation period. And you don’t have to wait until you have the perfect space — you can meditate just about anywhere. In time, you’ll settle in to what works best for you.
For now, a few experts weigh in on how to get started.
2-Minute Meditation for Beginners
“If you can find the time to brush your teeth, you can devote two minutes to meditation every day.”
- Set a timer.
- Sit straight in a chair, legs uncrossed, hands in your lap. Let your head float atop the spine (like a bobble head, loose and free).
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Notice, without judgment, the pace of your breathing. Become aware of the coolness of the air as it enters the nose, then the warmth of the air as it leaves. If you get distracted by thoughts, don’t worry. Try silently counting up to four on your inhalations (“1, 2, 3, 4″), and back down on your exhalations (“4, 3, 2, 1″) to refocus on the breath.
- Consistency is the key to getting the most out of a meditation practice. Schedule your meditation for first thing in the morning, before work or family interruptions. If you miss your meditation time, you still have the rest of the day to fit in just two minutes.
“Once meditating becomes a habit you will reap the rewards, including more physical relaxation, less anxiety, more concentration, fewer mood swings, and more peace of mind. With meditation comes grace in mind, body, and spirit.”
Life and business coach Dina Proctor, author of, Madly Chasing Peace: How I Went from Hell to Happy in Nine Minutes a Day, teaches a method she calls 3×3 meditation. It involves highly focused, three-minute meditation breaks, three times a day.
Here’s how it works. During each three-minute break, focus on deep breathing, close your eyes and focus on a mantra, or imagine your body’s cells are being infused with refreshed energy to make you more alert and productive. You can also visualize a goal you’re looking to meet and imagine what it will feel like when you achieve it.
Traci Pichette recently published the ebook, 7-Days to Fit ‘Me’ Time Into Every Day. She believes our sense of smell can arouse emotions even before triggering a thought. “Taking time to stop and smell the roses can immediately boost your happiness, anytime and any place,”
Pichette offers these tips on how to practice smell meditation.
- Select something that evokes a happy memory — your favorite scented flower, a candle, an old book, or a jar of your favorite dried spice, for example. Use your scented object to create a signal to slow down and invoke feelings of happiness and relaxation in the middle of the day.
- When things start to feel rushed, pause and sit in a comfortable position.
- Hold the scent to your nose, and inhale deeply three times. Let the scent summon your happy memory.
- Focus on the scent and how you feel. Don’t analyze anything; just absorb the smell and enjoy the memories.
Pichette said you probably won’t feel miraculous effects after only a few minutes of meditation, but you may feel a little more relaxed.
Do this activity again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. Soon you will have created a small space to pause and focus on “me” time. Over time, this may improve your health, your attitude, and your general outlook on life.
What To Expect Out of Meditation
What to expect:
- forgetting to adhere
- getting bored or anxious whilst meditating
- thinking you’re making mistakes
- realizing that the time passes by quicker than imagined
How to overcome:
- schedule your meditation and use reminders
- understand there’s no right or wrong when it comes to meditation
- accepting that the brain wanders, and the only thing to do is to bring it back to the breath/focus of attention without being upset with oneself
- practice regularly
Breath/awareness meditation can easily be built into a habit, if one creates the right system of implementation. This way, learning to become mindful becomes autopilot, and one can expect to feel less out of control (especially if you have a racing mind and tend to be depressed/anxious). You may also have more self-awareness, calmness, happiness, and a sense of pride and achievement.
The not-so-nice results:
Sitting with one’s thoughts/sensations/feelings can be scary and overwhelming for some. In these cases, some people with preexisting mental health difficulties may feel worse. Traditionally, meditation is about breaking down barriers within the self and destroying our mental illusions. It’s not always meant to be pleasant. But this can be paired with compassion-focused meditation.
“Don’t compare or stress out about how long others meditate,”
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