Meditation and Breathing Strategies for Daily Life
We’re sure at some point you’ve been stressed, overwhelmed, tired, or overstimulated during your day. You probably know what the causes are. What you probably don’t know are some quick-fixes you can implement to blast through these periods throughout the day.
Because everyday isn’t the same, we’ve put together some awesome breathing and meditation strategies to assist you regardless of the time of day. More often than not, you’ll struggle with a particular time of day more than others. We encourage you to find the time of day you have the most difficulty or experience most frequently and attack it with the strategy listed below.
Strategy #1: Morning Preparation
How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you start your day with stress, you can guarantee that stress will follow you throughout the day. That’s why we highly recommend spending 5-10 minutes using one or both of the following practices:
Spending 5-10 minutes and simply focusing on your breathing can create mental clarity and peace of mind to help jump start your day. It will also lower stress, allowing you to focus and navigate urgent situations that come up unexpectedly.
Taking some time to write down 3 things you’re truly grateful for is an excellent follow up to meditation, but can also be done by itself. Doing so before beginning your day gives you great perspective on what really is important in life.
Strategy #2: Midday Break
It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the day, whether it be at work, at home, or out running from place to place. There is tremendous evidence supporting the idea of just taking 6 breaths periodically throughout the day. Doing so will calm you down, allowing you to step out of yourself and look at things with perspective.
Sometimes we get so bogged down with the continual hustle, we lose track of what we’re doing. If you ever feel like you’re having trouble concentrating, forgetting simple things, or just need to take a break, stop. Make your body and mind motionless and just take 6 breaths. You’ll be amazed as to how energized you feel. We highly recommend doing this breathing seated. Don’t introduce any new stimuli from where you are at the moment.
Strategy #3: Afternoon Pick-Me-Up (No Caffeine Required)
We’ve all had the afternoon drag that knocks us off our feet sometime between 1-4. Our initial reaction is to reach for the cup of coffee or double espresso. But having caffeine that late in the day can significantly impact your sleep quality later on that night.
Instead, try 5-10 minutes of tempo breathing. Simply inhale for 4 seconds, and then powerfully exhale the air back out again. Doing so will immediately wake you up and give you the necessary boost to power through that afternoon lull and conquer the rest of your day.
Strategy #4: Winding Down
This last strategy is to help us wind down after a day of constant stimulation; traffic, meetings, appointments, phone usage, TV watching etc. Our brain is wired and needs to calm down if we’re expected to get a good night’s sleep. Here, we recommend one or both practices:
There’s a breathing practice known as Ujjayi breathing that we find very helpful for situations such as these. No tempo is required, but this soothing breathing technique will help wind down the brain to prepare you for sleep, or just as a way to calm yourself down before spending time with people who deserve your undivided attention.
Write in a Journal
Just as we started our day with gratitude, we finish our day with reflection. Writing in a journal at the end of the day gives you an opportunity to reflect on your day. Whether you use it to help improve for the following day, identify some mistakes you want to correct for the future, or simply relist 3 things you were grateful for during the day, writing these things down can help alleviate your brain of all the distracting topics that can interrupt your sleep and/or take precious time away from your loved ones.