How to Center Yourself With a 3 Minute Meditation (even when you don’t have time to go to the bathroom)
When I’m stressed, you’ll know it before I do. My behavior gives me away. I get short-tempered, irritable, my eyes glaze over, I frantically try to multitask. If you’re anything like me, you tend to ignore your stress signals within your body and try to push through a ‘to-do’ list. But taking a minute to check in with how you’re feeling is a simple way to start becoming more centered.
Last week, I had a conversation with Wendy Griffith, a healthy habits coach who does fantastic work within her community of stressed mums. She keeps it real and doesn’t expect people to dedicate hours and hours improving their health. But rather to tweak their lifestyle with small adjustments that are much more manageable.
Wendy challenged me to create a one-minute centering meditation to use within the live call. Stressed mum’s don’t have time to spend 20 minutes meditating. So I created a super short meditation to re-center when you’re feeling frazzled.
Doing a quick centering meditation will help you become more in tune with your body and notice where you feel tension and release it. It will give you a moment to remind yourself what’s important in your day.
If you go through the day without re-centering yourself it’s easy to be blown off-course and follow the wrong path as you become more and more stressed. Allowing yourself to be pulled in different directions from an external world of distractions (hello doomscrolling!).
I created a new version of the meditation here (it’s 3 minutes long) so you can use it at any time.
But if you don’t want to whip out your phone to listen to the audio, here are some pointers to re-center yourself.
How to center yourself
- Come to a comfortable position and close your eyes . You don’t have to be sitting or lying down for this meditation. But if you’re going to close your eyes, please make sure you are in a safe environment.
- Take a moment to let your thoughts settle.
- Scan your body from head to toe and notice if you have any muscle tension. If so, gently release the grip (this sends a signal to your brain that you are safe).
- Take a slow breath in for a count of four and exhale for a count of six. Concentrate on making the exhale as long and even as possible.
- Remind yourself that although today may not have gone quite as planned, emotions change quickly. And you can change your mood around at any time.
- Think about how you would like to feel for the rest of your day. Choose a word that will help you set an intention going forward.
You can do this several times a day. Especially if you feel you are losing touch with how you feel.
If you‘re a busy mum, please check out Wendy Griffith’s work (this is a blog post she created after our conversation). She has lots of ideas for coping with stress that are specific to the expectations and tasks that go along with parenting.