The world can be a stressful and uncertain place. But life goes go on, and people adapt. Although the long-term benefits of meditation are backed by science, sometimes you just can’t. The dogs are barking, there is something on the stove burning, and you are running late for work. Even if you want to meditate, how can you?
I’ve developed a system of random moments for mini-meditations. Here’s a few of mine. But remember, these are random moments, so whenever you feel the need for a little extra calm, try a few moments of meditation to recover your calm.
Why develop a system? These minor “tough times” during your day are practice for other times when you really need to keep it together. I’ve made it through company downsizing, hurricanes, and family illnesses by having a system in place. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to. But if you do, you’ll be ready.
1. When You Are on a Plane
Traveling by plane is great when you want to get somewhere quickly, but it’s often arduous and time-consuming. There’s the waiting, the herding, the standing in a line to get to your seat. Then the flight. Babies start to cry and fuss, the turbulence, and people jostling you as they go by. How many trips to the bathroom can one person take? And why do they have to hit you every time? Yep, mini-meditation time. Close your eyes and try tapping into the power of meditation mantras.
2. While You Are Waiting for a Meeting to Start
Are you always the first one at the meeting? Do you find yourself sitting in an empty room wondering what to do with yourself? This is a great time to have a quick moment of meditation. Meditating at the office has many benefits, and you only need a few minutes of calm to improve your day. So, while you may not feel comfortable meditating at your desk, use this unexpected time to get in a few moments of meditation.
3. When Everyone Is Freaking Out at Work
Work can be intense, and often things don’t go right. When things get tough, get going. But first, take a moment at your desk to meditate. Yes, ideally, you’d be in a quiet, peaceful space for your meditation. But sitting at your desk, taking a moment to breathe, listen, or even stand up can help you calm down enough to calm down others.
4. During Your Morning Commute
If you are not driving, your morning commute is an excellent time for a mini-meditation. Especially if you know you have a long, stressful day, or are giving a big presentation at work. You can center your thoughts, get clear on your intention, and relax and zone out. Meditating during your commute is a great time to listen to a mindful meditation playlist to create your own guided meditation. You’ll arrive at your destination, calm, centered, and ready to go.
5. Waiting in Line for Anything
We all hate waiting in line, right? I think we can all agree. And wait time is the longest time, it seems to pass so slowly. Will the line ever move? Perfect time for a mini-meditation. Put the time to good use. Try an active meditation. The idea is to focus your mind while engaging in physical activity, such as standing, walking, or running. Perfect for waiting in line.
6. When You Are Having a Mental Roadblock
This can happen anywhere, so it’s more of a situation than a place, but it’s the perfect time for a moment of meditation. There are many ways to avoid mental roadblocks, and meditation is one of the best. It seems counterintuitive if you are someone like me who tries to think their way out of their roadblock. Meditation requires that you empty your mind of thoughts, and that is sometimes exactly what you need to overcome a roadblock. So, take a few deep breaths and let everything go.
7. When Your Partner Is Freaking Out at Home
At this point, if you got the impression I am a person who likes to hold on to my calm, you’d be right. My partner? Not so much. Sometimes when she’s harshing my zen, I take an extra moment of mini-meditation. I close my eyes and do a full-body scan. Breathe in, breathe out, and don’t let her melt-down affect my ability to handle whatever the situation is.