In today’s fast-paced world, we hardly have a spare minute to do the things for ourselves that help us stay energized and focused. By focusing for a few minutes a couple of times a day to intentionally breathe can completely change our disposition. A study out of the University of Pennsylvania shows that carving out a mere 12 minutes a day to do just that—intentionally breathe—can go a long way toward improving your mood. In addition, meditating can help you get better quality sleep, show more kindness towards others, and reduce inflammation.
Here are a series of mini-meditations you can call on throughout your day when you’re feeling like you are coming apart at the seams and need to find your center.
Meet the day by sitting quietly in a chair with your feet firmly on the floor to ground you. Staring straight ahead, take three deep breaths and begin to envision the morning washing over you, taking with it any residual stress or anxiety that might be bubbling up. Pay close attention to your breath and visualize how the day will unfold for you, setting your positive intention. Stay centered in this space for a few more minutes, then stand and finish by standing and stretching your arms overhead; or, if you like, do a couple sun salutation.
When thinking back, so many people can’t even remember their drive to work. To avoid the bubbling of negative emotions that often come with a traffic-packed ride to work, return to your breath and tune into your senses. Every time a negative emotion bubbles up, acknowledge it, release it, and focus on something that ignites your senses; i.e.: the grounded feeling of sitting or the smell of fresh air coming through the window.