The common problem of being an overworked, over-stressed young professional is that you seemingly never have enough time to just be. Sure, we know that taking some time to relax can do wonders for our health, but it’s not easy to find openings in our busy schedules to actually do it. Well, that’s where micro-meditation comes to play, a new trend that’s getting some serious buzz.
Essentially, micro-meditations are small bursts of meditation that we can use to tackle negative, difficult, or unpleasant situations. They help us be more mindful, gain energy, and re-engage with our day, leading to a much happier state of mind. The best part: They can be done at your desk in 30 seconds or less. Below, check out these 3 simple micro-meditation exercises to help you relax, decompress, and tackle your day.
The Standing Body Scan
Body scans are a mindful meditation practice that normally consist of 3-5 minutes of laying on the ground. Since we can’t all spread out on the office floor, micro meditation provides a standing version that can be done in under a minute if that’s all the time you have. (You could sneak into an empty conference room or even in a bathroom stall if that’s the only place you have!) Doing a quick body scan is a great way to relax your mind, relieve tension or soothe a frustrating situation.
Stand with your feet flat on the ground, feeling them relax and loosen. Then, work your way up and focus on relaxing and loosening isolated parts of your body. Start with your shins and calves, move to your thighs, move to your butt, your belly, and your chest. Continue on and focus on relaxing your shoulders, your arms and hands, your neck. Finally, focus on your face and relax and loosen your lips, nose, eyelids, and forehead. Take one sweeping breath throughout your entire body, and visualize the energy going from your nostrils all the way to your pinky toe. In total, this should take you about a minute, or longer if you need more time focusing on each body part, and will instantly reenergize you.
Metta Bhavana (or “Loving Kindness”)
This micro meditation is great for calming anger and negativity, and is a great exercise when you are having issues with another person in a negative way. It also has additional benefits of better sleep, better concentration, and a boost in your overall mood. The term “metta bhavana” means the “cultivation of loving-kindness” and unlike its pronunciation, it is extremely easy to do.
Have a seat and take a few deep breaths, loosening up with every exhale. With every inhale, think about feelings of love, confidence, and kindness. Then, think of someone who you love, and picture all of their good qualities and why they make you happy and absorb that energy and happiness. Now, while still breathing deeply, picture a person you are struggling with negatively. Try to think of them with neutral, not negative feelings. Quietly whisper, “may they be loved, may they be well, may they be happy.” Finally, think of all the people together with waves of love and kindness flowing around you. Relax out of the meditation and open your eyes.
Now this might take a little open-mindedness, but just give it a try and we guarantee you’ll feel a little more relaxed almost instantly.
This exercise is amazing for dealing with negative energy and emotions.
When you’re feeling upset, rest one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe slowly, and focus on your chest staying still and your tummy doing the rising and falling with every breath. When you inhale, think about breathing in positive energy, and when you exhale think about releasing any tension or negative thoughts. It could take as few as 5 breaths to feel instantly better!