During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook our self-care. If you don’t carve out time, or make it a daily ritual or practice, you may find that there is no way you can make more time in your busy schedule to meditate or take deep breaths, but trust me (Gerry), you do. Even a quick and easy mindful meditation can go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety.
It was a couple of years ago, during a therapy session that I was taught this quick and easy mindful meditation. I practice different variations of this, and Shannon has talked about how she makes this meditation a daily practice in the mornings on her walks with Betty White. We call it our, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 meditation” and it can be used at any time that you feel disconnected, or when you simply want to have a mindfulness practice. Anyone, and I mean, anyone can meditate, and this practice proves it.
Steps for the Easy Mindful Meditation
Find a quiet spot, even if it is in your parked car, away from everyone. Go through each of the following steps. This meditation practice allows you to focus on your senses.
- 5– Find 5 things that you can see and say them aloud. For example, it may be a bird, a tree, a passing car, a cloud, a person walking across the street.
- 4– Find 4 things that you can hear and say them aloud. Example: a car driving by, people talking nearby, music coming from somewhere unidentified, a dog barking.
- 3– Find 3 things that you can feel and say them aloud. Example: the piece of clothing you are wearing, wood on a dock you are standing near, wind on your face.
- 2– Find 2 things you can smell and say them aloud. Example: honeysuckle in the breeze, lotion or a fragrance from someone nearby.
- 1– Find 1 thing you can taste and say it aloud. Example: the salt on your lips from standing near the ocean (or from the chips you had at lunch). 🙂
It never fails, after this practice, whatever thoughts I had that were creating fear, or anxiety, have gone away, and I am able to appreciate the things I have identified in this practice.
This holiday season, or any time of year, I hope that this meditation practice that brings so much to us, helps you. After all, Harvard research shows that meditation is often more beneficial than a vacation! If you think this would be of some help to someone, feel free to share it. Let us know if it helped you!