If a hectic schedule has you feeling scattered, it’s time to unwind! But what happens when even the thought of carving out time to de-stress creates anxiety? Relaxation doesn’t have to mean vacation—no need to book a ticket, get approval from your boss, or find someone to watch the kids. All you need is ten minutes and a quiet space to find a little zen. Sit down, focus on your breath, and use these tips to start meditating today!
Choose a time for meditation
Meditation can be something quick you fit in when you can, but for a habit to stick, it’s good to choose a point of the day you’ll try and do it on a regular basis. Adding it to your morning or bedtime routine will help make it, well, routine! If you have trouble remembering to meditate, why not set a silent alarm? At the time(s) you specify, your device will gently vibrate and light up several times, repeating again in nine minutes if you don’t dismiss it.
If you’re uncomfortable, those 10 minutes will feel like an eternity. So to get started, find a chair or a soft cushion to sit on where you’re comfortable and won’t be disturbed. Somewhere quiet and private is probably ideal.
Feel free to experiment
Meditation doesn’t have to have rules. You can try it sitting, laying down, with open or closed eyes—whatever you’re comfortable with. Try different things to see what works best for you.
Start with your breath
Once you’re in a comfortable position, focusing on your breathing is a great way to kick off your meditation session. Start breathing deeply and help your focus by counting your breaths until you start to relax.
To help you get your breath in rhythm, Fitbit has an on-device guided breathing experience called Relax. that helps you find moments of calm with a personalized guided breathing session based on your heart rate.
Focus on your body
Another good practice to start with, once you’ve calmed your breathing, is to take note of your body. Start at your head and scan your way down with your mind. Take note of any discomforts or aches, along with the feeling of where your hands are resting or your body against the floor. You don’t need to make any adjustments here—it’s more like taking an inventory.
One misconception about meditation is that you have to clear your mind, and you’re doing something wrong if your mind wanders. Rather than berate yourself for this, simply go back to focusing on your breathing when you notice your mind wander.
These days there are plenty of books or apps for beginners interested in trying meditation. Headspace is a great app that offers free 10-minute guided meditations. Or if you’re not yet sold on the benefits of meditation, 10% Happier by Dan Harris goes through how practicing meditation helped a one-time skeptic during his busy and high-stress career as a television reporter.
Think you’ll use these tips and try meditating? Join the conversation below!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.