In our busy lives we might have difficulties finding the time for additional commitments or activities but you don't need to meditate for hours to receive its benefits. Setting aside 10 minutes a day can have a huge impact on your mood.
Below we have gone through a 10 minute meditation exercise. The most important thing, whether you find the exercise hard or easy, is to stick with it for the full 10 minutes.
Gently close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Hold for the count of three and slowly exhale. Repeat this a few times and then allow your natural breathing pattern to emerge.
Settle into your body by noticing the physical sensations your body is experiencing, such as where you body meets the chair and the ground. Notice the things around you using your senses - what can you hear? Smell? Taste? Feel?
Notice how these sensations come from nothing and then go back to nothing. For example, the sound of a plane flying by builds from no-sound and then goes back to no-sound.
Go through your body, starting from your head and working your way down to your toes observing any tension. You can follow this order as an example:
This should take around 1 minute. Repeat the body scan but notice the parts of the body which feel relaxed.
Now, re-focus on each area of tension (one at a time) whilst taking an in-breath and then notice the release of that tension with the out-breath.
Notice the thoughts arising without trying to change them and without judging them. Allow any self-talk to pass by without interacting with it. It can be useful to view your thoughts as clouds - separate to you and passing by.
It's very easy for your attention to get unknowingly absorbed by thoughts so it's important to implement meditation techniques to create a break from your thinking.
Once you have withdrawn from the stream of thinking it's much easier to just observe your thoughts rather than getting taken over by them. One of these meditation techniques is to notice your breath...
Focus on your breathing. Don't change it, just focus on it - is your breathing deep or shallow, quick or slow? Also follow the breath as it flows in and out of your body: is your stomach moving out as you inhale or is your chest moving in, can you notice the sensation of air flowing through your nostrils etc. Don't try to force or regulate it, just allow your breathing to flow naturally by itself.
Focusing on your breath requires a lot of attention so it's a great way to step away from your thoughts.
When you mind wanders off just focus your attention back to your breath.
Again, focus on the physical sensations you are experiencing, such as, the feeling of the floor on your feet, the position of your head, your hands in your lap. Use all of the senses again.
In your own time and when you feel ready slowly open your eyes.
See how you feel after the exercise and recognise whether this is different to how you felt before starting the exercise. Maybe you feel more relaxed and less stressed. Acknowledge this change as this can help motivate your engagement in future exercises.
There are lots of 10 minute meditations that you can listen to online, consider following along with these if you're finding meditation difficult.
Learn more about meditation and mindfulness in our Mindfulness VR course.