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Meditation Made Simple: 5 Practices To Try At Home

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2-minute meditation 

When you’re really busy and your mind feels “full” it’s hard to be focused and productive. Even though you might feel like you don’t have time for it, meditation is a great way to empty your mind. You’ll thank yourself afterwards!

When should you do this?
Anytime you feel a bit stressed or anxious. It’s also great to do right before an important event, like a presentation or interview.

Benefits

  • Greater clarity
  • A sense of calm
  • A more relaxed mind and body

Technique

  • Do this wherever you are – standing, sitting on a chair or cross-legged on the floor.
  • Close your eyes and draw your attention inwards.
  • Let your focus settle on your breath.
  • Feel your body rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale.
  • Let everything go except the breath. If a thought comes into your mind just acknowledge it’s there, but don’t let yourself get caught up in it. Imagine thoughts as clouds and just see them floating past.
  • Allow yourself to settle into this space of ease and comfort.
  • When the time feels right, open your eyes.

Sassy tip
Set a timer for 2 minutes at the start. Knowing you have a set amount of time helps your mind to settle.

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Morning meditation 

It’s amazing how just a few minutes of meditation in the morning can make a massive difference to your day. It’s on those crazy busy days that we need this even more. My day always runs better when I do this in the morning. 

When should you do this?
Do this first thing in the morning to infuse your day with more ease and purpose. And if you do it every day, it will also help you establish a regular meditation practice.

Benefits

  • Be more focused
  • Infuse your day with more ease
  • Bring purpose and intention to your actions

Technique

  • Find a comfortable position and allow your eyes to gently close.
  • Take a deep breath in and let it go with a sigh. Do this three times.
  • With every exhale, let go of any worries, any tension, any niggling thoughts.
  • Allow any tension to melt away from your shoulders, your forehead, your jaw. Feel each part of your body completely relax.
  • Bring your awareness to the point in between your eyebrows.
  • Visualise yourself going about your day with a sense of ease, joy and confidence. Make this picture as clear and as detailed as you can. Where are you? What are you wearing? What are you doing? Can you smell or hear anything?
  • Really try to feel what’s it like to do everything with ease, joy and confidence. Allow these feelings to wash through you.
  • When time is up, come fully back into your body and open your eyes.

Sassy tip
Start with just 3 minutes and build up to 10 minutes. Spend more time really connecting to the feelings of ease, joy and confidence (or any other feeling that you want more of). The more you can connect to those feelings, the greater the benefits.

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Body scan 

Melt away stress and anxiety in a matter of minutes with this simple body scan meditation. This is also a great practice to do if your busy mind prevents you from sleeping.

When should you do this?
This is a great way to unwind and relax after a busy day. I personally like to do this in the evening after work or at night lying in bed.

Benefits

  • Calms a busy mind
  • Helps you completely relax in minutes
  • Allows you to drift off to sleep easily

Technique

  • Come into your most comfortable position lying down.
  • Allow your feet to flop to the sides and place your arms by your sides, palms facing up.
  • Feel the flow of the breath in and out of your body. Feel how your body rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale. Continue like this for a few breaths.
  • Now bring all your awareness to the top of your head. Allow all the muscles at the top of your head to relax and let go.
  • Allow this feeling of relaxation to flow downwards to your forehead, your eyes, cheeks, lips and jaw. Feel your whole head and face completely relax. Take your time.
  • Continue to allow this feeling of relaxation to flow downwards like a warm liquid through every part of your body, all the way to the tips of your toes. Take your time and feel each body part relaxing and letting go.
  • Soak in the feeling of being completely relaxed from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes.
  • With every exhale allow yourself to relax deeper and deeper.
  • Slowly open your eyes when you’re ready and feel the energy return to each part of your body. If you’re meditating before bed, let yourself find a comfortable position and drift off to sleep.

Sassy tip
Imagine this as a sort of “energetic massage”. When you focus on each body part, feel it as though it is being massaged. This will help you hone in on that part of your body.

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Gratitude meditation 

It seems that the human condition encourages us to focus on all the things we want, rather than enjoying the things we have. Carving out a few minutes a day to think about all the things we’re grateful for in our lives can make a massive difference to how we feel. And the more we send out those feelings of gratitude, the more we attract it in abundance.

When should you do this?
Anytime. It’s really powerful if you make it a habit and do it every day. This meditation can also turn around a negative state of mind so try it when you find yourself in a bad mood!

Benefits

  • Generates feelings of positivity and happiness
  • Helps you attract more of what you want in your life
  • Stops a bad mood in its tracks

Technique

  • Find a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  • Bring all your awareness inwards.
  • Take a few moments to settle into your body and into your breath.
  • Bring to mind a few things that fill you up with joy – big or small. It could be something small like your favourite food, scent, memory, or something big like your family, your pets, a great opportunity at work. Anything else that brings a smile to your face.
  • Take each of these things in turn and ask yourself why you’re grateful for it.
  • Then truly notice how experiencing gratitude for each of those things makes you feel.
  • Let the feeling of gratitude flow through your body and fill you up.
  • Open your eyes when you’re ready.
  • To hold on to that feeling afterwards, write down one (or more) of the things you’re grateful for in a similar format, with the reason why. For example, “I am truly grateful for taking the time to practice yoga tonight as it helped me relax and let go of the tension from work.” Writing down the things you’re grateful for is even more powerful than simply thinking about them (having a dedicated gratitude journal is a great idea).

Sassy tip
For gratitude to really work its magic, you must feel it as much as you can. It’s not enough to simply say you are grateful for something. You must really feel this from deep within and notice what that feeling of lightness brings to your body.

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Mindful walking

This is simply walking with awareness of each step. It’s about noticing all the details and really paying attention. This is an incredibly useful practice for bringing you fully back into the present moment – especially when you feel caught up in the non-stop nature of Hong Kong.

When should you do this?
You can practice this anytime and anywhere – whether you’re walking to make a cup of tea at work, or on holiday, walking along the beach.

Benefits 

  • Roots you in the present moment
  • Clears your mind
  • Helps you be more concentrated and focused

Technique

  • Stand tall and become aware of how your body feels.
  • Feel the soles of your feet in your shoes or on the ground.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Start to walk at a slightly slower than normal pace.
  • Notice all the movements in your body: how you lift and place your foot down, how the sole pushes to propel you forward, the feeling in your hips and hip flexors, the bend in your knees, if your body shifts from side to side, how your arms are moving and so forth.
  • Continue like this, focusing only on the sensations in your body as you walk.
  • If your thoughts run away from you, just acknowledge them and guide your focus back to the present and to the sensation of walking.
  • At the end of your meditation, stand still for a moment and feel yourself rooted to the ground beneath your feet.
  • Take a few deep breaths.

Sassy tip
At the end of your walking meditation, you could set an intention to bring this focused attention into the rest of your day.

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