Modernity is a funny thing. As technology evolves to make even the most simple of everyday tasks easier, we still find ourselves with too few hours in the day.
It doesn't matter if you're a working mama or a student juggling study and work, it's important to take time for yourself and de-stress. But if you can't find the time for a cup of tea, how can you be expected to find your zen?
And here, grasshopper, is the answer. Meditation. On the go.
You don't need to sit cross legged and partake in 20 minutes of humming to meditate. You can meditate anywhere and everywhere, enhancing your calm and making your day much less stressful.
1. Create a mantra.
We're plagued with negative emotions throughout the day and they can come from nowhere. For example, you might be grocery shopping and catch an unflattering glimpse in the chiller doors. All of a sudden in the middle of picking your pesto dip, you're feeling fat, ugly and unworthy of said pesto dip.
A simple deep breath and a positive statement can nip this negativity in the bud.
Buddhists believe your life consists of a set number of breaths - so slow down, take deep breaths and just enjoy where you are right now. You already breathe without thinking, so don't worry about doing it right. Just breathe deeply and slowly.
3. Focus on your feet.
While you're walking to the office, to the bank or the school run, don't just focus on the destination. Be conscious of each step as you take in your surroundings. Instead of running through the to-do list, the daily worries ("did I leave my straighteners on?") enjoy the journey - you're not going to get there any more quickly stressing through it and you'll arrive mentally refreshed if you appreciate the small things.
Do you eat on the run? Grab a quick coffee and forget about it until it's cold? Give yourself permission to stop. Enjoy your sandwich, focus on the taste, savour each mouthful. Enjoy your coffee while it's warm, breathe in the aroma. Taking 5 minutes, even when you don't feel like you have it, is a great way to destress, and return to duty with more vigour than before.
5. Use technology to help you.
If you really can't function without technology, check out some 'mind training' apps to remind you to focus on what's really important. Headspace is a popular app that teaches you to treat your head right. Creator and mentor Andy Puddicombe has been described by the New York Times as the Jamie Oliver of meditation. Or try calming GIFs, like this one. Calming Squid.
Even if you don't feel like it, smile. Close your eyes, think of something you love, take a deep breath and smile as you exhale. Feel better?
Lastly, when all else fails, go with The Beatles.
Let it be.
There are things you cannot change, so why stress about it? Did someone jump in front of you at the checkouts? Steal your parking space? You can't change someone else's actions, but you can control your reaction to it. Instead of letting anger seep in and affect your mood and snowball your day, just breathe, have faith in karma, and get on with your day. Your inner peace will thank you for it.