Tiny, Easy Meditations for the Average Person on their Worst Days.
Sometimes life sucks and you have a bad day. That’s why we compiled this list of five easy meditation ideas for people who want to destress.
Sometimes life can be messy. Pretty messy.
When the most important person in my life died, I hated my job and my love life was slightly influenced by these events, it seemed everything was trembling and close to a total collapse. Finally, it did collapse.
When things are in this state, that’s usually a sign we should change something in our lives—and we probably need some help with this. I wasn’t even looking for help, because I thought nothing could help me. There was only one thing I wanted: to stop thinking. I wanted my mind to shut off and be totally silent. I couldn’t stand my own thoughts anymore which were only hurting, rather than helping or supporting me.
This silence was exactly what saved my life. It literally solved all of my problems step by step.
I silenced my mind and started to look into all sorts of meditation practices. Every one of them has helped me on my way to heal, and has enhanced and expanded my life, allowing me to live to the fullest. With my daily meditation practice I become balanced and happier, I start creating my life instead of letting life happening to me and I am able to heal on every level: mental, physical and emotional.
You don’t need to wait for your life to tremble; you can get started right away.
5 Meditation Ideas and Exercises to Cope with Crappy Days
I feel inspired to share some exercises everyone can easily do. If you think, “Great, but I think too much to meditate.” Well, that’s exactly the reason you should meditate. The more you think and are stressed out by your thoughts, the more you need it.
1. Harness your breath. Observe it.
The easiest way to start is to sit down in a comfortable position and just breathe. Breathe in as long and slowly as you can, and at the end, hold your breath for two seconds and breathe out normally. After breathing out, take your time to start all over again. Sometimes I love doing it with my eyes closed, but do it however it feels good for you.
While doing this, observe your breath. How does it feel in the nose? Is the air cold or warm? Where is your breath going? Do you breathe into the chest, the stomach or both? What is easier for you?
Then you can start playing with it. Alternate between breathing into the chest and stomach. Finally try to breathe consistently into both.
If you start thinking, settle yourself back to feel the breath in your body. Do the breathing as long as possible. You can do this wherever you want: at home, at work and in bed before falling asleep. I love doing this when I am waiting for something or when I am in the car.
2. Inhale and exhale these mantras.
Another breathing meditation would be to breathe in everything you want, and breathe out everything you don’t want. For example, take a deep breath and think: “I breathe in everything that supports me,” hold it for two seconds again, and think: “I breathe out everything that’s blocking me,” while exhaling. Continue with consistent slow breaths.
Here are some more examples you can think during the breathing.
“I breathe in love and light / harmony and balance / strength and courage.”
“I am protected / loved.”
“I breathe out anger and pain / frustration and hate.”
“I breathe out all negative energy / my blockades.”
You can add some visualisations while doing this as well. You would imagine how, for example, golden light flows to you while inhaling and how black dust flies away while exhaling.
Any time you feel stressed, angry or nervous, you can do it. It will immediately calm you down. At one point in my life I worked at a place where I often felt like crying on my lunch break. This little exercise helped me to calm down, get through the day and finally to move on from that work place.
3. Try the ‘Being here now’ meditation for groundedness
The next type of meditation is something I love doing outside. I sit on a park bench and just observe—breathing slowly and observing very consciously what’s around me.
Are there people or animals? What kind of noises and smells are there? What does my surrounding look like?
If I do this I try not to judge. It’s not about deciding how beautiful or unpleasant something is, or if I like that dog or not. Just observe everything and breathe slowly. This type of meditation practices being present in the “now.” Personally, for me it is a good exercise for grounding myself and feeling connected. Sometimes when I observe the things around me, I simultaneously connect to them until I feel connected to everything.
4. Try the ‘Floating in space’ mediation to feel light.
Whereas the “being in the now” meditation helps with grounding, this one helps with feeling lighter. Close your eyes and imagine you are floating in the universe. Dark infinite sky with stars and planets. If it is too hard to imagine yourself floating you can just imagine looking into the cosmos. Breathe slowly and just observe with your inner eyes.
What does it look like around you? Do the stars have the same size? Do they have the same light? Are there any planets? Do you recognize anything else?
If it’s easy for you to visualise, imagine yourself flying through space.
I love to do this while listening to some of my favourite meditation music. The music would carry me through the universe. I would listen to a couple of songs flying through space. Moreover I sometimes imagine myself floating in space, inhaling and exhaling the universe.
5. Visualization Meditation: Imaging your garden.
With this meditation, we learn something about ourselves.
Sit down in a relaxed position. If you’d like, listen to some soothing, relaxing music. Close your eyes and start with slow, consistent breathing. Imagine in front of your inner eyes a garden. If this doesn’t work easily you could remember a garden you already visited or a nice place in nature you can remember. Similar to the “floating in space” meditation, you could observe yourself in the garden, or just look at the garden itself. You can just sit there, walk around, lie down or climb on some trees.
Now, observe the garden. What does it look like? Are there any trees? What kind of plants? Many flowers? Do you find fruits or vegetables? What about animals? Is the sun shining? How do you feel in your garden?
I often sit under a tree in my garden and would have some animals around. Sometimes I would even talk to an animal; often I just relax and enjoy being in nature.
The state of our garden reflects us. If the garden is in a bad shape we could fix it in our meditation, for example, give water to withered plants, tidy up broken branches or fix a fence. The more we take care of our garden, the more we take care of ourselves.
This meditation allows us to have a little vacation and tidy up things from inside out. The more often it is done, the more skilled we become in “reading” our garden.
Of course we can do all of the above meditations as often as we want. We can start with all of them on the same day or practice one after another for a couple days or weeks to figure out what works best for us at what time. If you’ve never meditated before, I think it is easier to start at meditation one and make your way to five.
There are many more varieties available and once you get started you’ll figure out what type of meditation suits you best. Breathing meditations, meditations with music or guided ones. In the end it doesn’t matter because they are all available for us to find the ones which work best.
Don’t get frustrated when your mind just doesn’t stop bothering you.
If my mind won’t stop being all over the place, I send it on vacation and let it know it has some time off, and return to my meditation. Sometimes the mind then starts to team up with the body. There’s some itching, or some pain in the back, a numb leg, a running nose—you know, all sorts of nonsense to distract you. Don’t pay too much attention to it. If this happens I would ask my body and mind: “Is this all you’ve got? Really?” and most of the time they mumble and grumble and then shut up.
The more often you do it, the easier it gets. You’ll probably come to a point where you fall in love with one or several meditations. I did and I don’t want to miss any of them anymore. The meditations have became my best friends. It’s similar to having human friends—with one you can have the trip of your life, another would calm you down and the next helps you create your life. They are all wonderful and equally important.
Just try them. They are waiting for you.
*Dear elephant reader: if you’re single & looking for mindful dating or conscious love, try out our lovely partner, MeetMindful.
Author: Christine Stein
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Hieu Le/Unsplash