Ease your mind during a busy day.
We've hit the magical and all-too-brief lull between back-to-school and the landslide of holidays that begins at Halloween and ends sometime next April. It's tempting to rev up the to-do list in these quiet(er) few weeks or zip off for the weekend, and if projects and road trips fuel you, then bon voyage! But if your brain and schedule are calling for calm, then let this transitional time of year be an opportunity to infuse a few more breaks into your day. If you add in some meditation, prayer, or just a few designated silent moments to your days now, it will be habit by the time the holiday rush starts.
And think of how lovely it will be to greet the crowds, the credit card charges and the extended-family dinners with some more serenity than usual! Here's how to find time to meditate today.
On the subway to work
Think how different a 20-minute ride on a crowded train, waiting for a bus or walking a mile to work could be if you directed positive thoughts toward the commuters around you rather than silently cussing at the slow walkers, the guy who keeps bumping into you or the messenger who just cut you off on her bike.
Related: 3 Steps to Improving Your Outlook
Buddhist monk and author Pema Chodron encourages us to put goodwill out to the world while we are otherwise going about our business. In "No Time to Lose," she writes:
"The next time you go out in the world, you might try this practice: directing your attention to people—in their cars, on the sidewalk, talking on their cell phones—just wish for them all to be happy and well. Without knowing anything about them, they can become very real, by regarding each of them personally and rejoicing in the comforts and pleasures that come their way. Each of us has this soft spot: a capacity for love and tenderness. But if we don’t encourage it, we can get pretty stubborn about remaining sour."
Choose one day a week or one leg of your daily commute to wish goodness for the people you pass. Plug in any affirmations, podcasts or music that will put you in the frame of mind. Worried a sour mood or lack of caffeine will keep you from following through? Remember that wishing goodwill could put you in a better state of mind, and that you don't need to already be there to start.