You've heard about all the benefits associated with mindfulness meditation. You want to be involved, establish a practice, and experience those benefits yourself: lowered stress and anxiety; improved emotional regulation; increases in the areas of attention span, focus, and executive functioning. These sound great, but when can you fit it in?
You don't "fit" mindfulness into your schedule. Rather, you make the time and take the time. You do this because you are just that important to yourself, and to those around you, that you make sure this is a daily practice.
Still can't figure out when it would work for you? Try a few of these suggestions.
Will mornings work for you? Sure, you say, except for the kids and carpooling. Or you just have to watch the morning news and complete the crossword puzzle. And, besides, you're always feeling like you're rushing because you're running late to get wherever you're supposed to be going. How could you meditate in the morning?
- Wake up before the kids do. Find a spot where you can be alone (a closet? a corner of an extra bedroom or home office? how about a corner of the dining room?), set a timer, and give yourself the amount of time that's right for you.
Does the night seem to be a better time for you to meditate?
- What can you remove from your regular routine in order to have an opportunity to focus on your breath? That time just before going to bed?
And maybe, just maybe, you'll have found a few opportunities during the course of your busy day to notice the smells around you that you'd normally let pass by, the colors on the flowers you didn't even notice yesterday, or the texture of the steering wheel in your car. And that tinkling of the tags on that dog that passes by so often. Do those tags always make that sound? You'd never noticed before! And how lunch tasted today? Superb!
Yes, during the day maybe you'll have stopped, every so often, just to take three deep breaths and focus on the beauty of the world around you. You'll do this because you've realized, finally, that you really are that important. To yourself. And to those around you.
Yes, you will make sure this is a daily practice. May you find peace and goodness, always.