Meditation and mindfulness. Everywhere you look there are books, podcasts, classes and articles about meditation and mindfulness. Recently, I even saw a TV commercial for one of the more popular meditation/mindfulness apps called Calm. I found this ironic and fascinating for a couple of reasons. It is ironic because television is our favorite mind-numbing pass time. It’s also where many of us spend hours of discretionary time each week all the while saying we just can’t seem to find any spare time to pursue things like meditation. And it’s fascinating because of the crossover between the two worlds of the on-demand online universe of anything we want and the world of good old-fashioned television where we endure commercials in between the content we crave.
In any case, meditation and mindfulness are primarily just ways to achieve inner peace and focus by decluttering our minds. With our always-on, always connected culture, our minds struggle to reach a state of calm. And we have all but lost the ability to sit quietly or concentrate for longer than 10 minutes at a time. Here are some hacks to achieve the benefits of clearing mental clutter which will increase your ability to focus and maintain inner peace. Do one of the following each day.
- Set a timer for 3 minutes. Get in a quiet place. Be comfortable. Close your eyes or look out the window at nature. Just breathe. Inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5. Repeat.
- Forgive and don’t forget. Take a daily inventory of offenses and frustrations. Then make a daily forgiveness list, including forgiving myself. Forgiving releases me from the offense’s control over and allows me to heal or move on. But I need to remember the lessons learned to avoid repeating mistakes or uphold relational boundaries.
- Be present. Eliminate hurry and be give my full attention to the moment, noticing my surroundings. Driving home a different way or trying a new restaurant can help if I am in a rut of sameness.
- Be grateful. Form a daily practice of listing 3-5 things I am thankful for. Get creative. Try to list different things each day.