What do you do once you enter your mode of commute to work? If you’re like 80% of the population, you too whip out your cellphone (if you aren’t already holding it) and remain immersed till you reach your destination. This, according to scores of studies, is one of the major causes of anxiety and stress. It is inevitable you might want to beat it and you can do it through meditating on your daily commute.
No, we don’t expect you to do the lotus pose on the floor of the already crowded subway. (And, please ignore all this if you are driving).
But it is possible for you to gain the full benefits of meditating seated on a meditation chair in dimly-lit room with soft music playing and incense igniting your senses, even while commuting.
You can meditate even while you are standing in a crowded local train. Really.
These 5 not-so-usual ways of meditation will energize you and also put you in the right frame of mind to slay it at work:
1) Meditation Apps
Be it Headspace, Calm and even Simple Habit App, pop in your earphones and access their vast range of both paid and free guided meditations. These apps offer meditations to suit different requirements too such as enhanced focus, destress, increase productivity and so on. Do check out Thriive’s Youtube channel for a select range of guided meditations by Masters.
2) Keep your observation powers on HIGH
Meditation need not be done only with the eyes closed. Meditation enhances our awareness and sharpens our observations. As your train/Uber speeds through, look at your surroundings with full attention. Observe the passengers in the train running alongside yours. Or feast your eyes on the mango-laden tree you spy in between the towering concrete giant-building. Or, pay attention to your own physical and emotional condition. Are you feeling extra-low or high today? Is your body at the top of its game? Listening to your own self will reveal very important answers.
3) Breathe deep and right
Meditation, in its very basic definition, is observing your breath. Do the same while you are commuting. Do not accelerate or slow down your breath. Just observe it as you inhale and exhale. You might be surprised by the sense of calm this simple exercise can bring.
4) Visualise your perfect day
Perhaps you were lucky enough to get a seat in the metro today. A great opportunity to try a different form of meditation today. Creative visualisation, anyone? Here’s how you do it: Take a couple of deep breaths and then shutting your eyes imagine you are having the perfect day at work. See the image in all its finer details. Bring all your senses into play: sight, smell, sound, taste (those vegan, low-cal cupcakes), feel. And an amped up intuition. See yourself at the top of your game. Avoid seeing any negative or self-limiting ideas or images. Guided meditations also work amazingly well. Check out this fabulous one by Dr. Newton Kondaveti, MD, on mastering your emotions. P.S.Time your phone to buzz before your station arrives.
‘Fake it till you make it’ used to be a popular success mantra in the late nineties. This was very effective and is now back in a new avatar called affirmations. Through the commute, repeat affirmations for that trait or situation you want to change. Affirmations are positive, written-in-the-present-tense, empowering statements. Say them aloud, carry them around on index cards and even blu-tack them on your laptop. Feel them with all your senses. Believe in them before you see them, as Dr. Wayne Dyer said. You will actually see a positive difference. Louise Hay and Shakti Gawain too offer a nice collection of affirmations that you can use for every area of your life. And so, being a successful, allrounder now takes on a whole new meaning.
Sonia Rao is Editor in Chief at Thriive Art & Soul.