The Easy Way To Meditate

Live in the now. Be present. Center yourself. Quite often people hear these phrases and dismiss them as wishy-washy yoga terms instead of actual advice that you can follow, but there is some value to this advice. While it might sound trite, learning to “live in the moment” is a skill that takes a lot of practice, but that can lead to more serenity and happiness throughout your life. But who actually has time for meditation anyways? When was the last time you were able to sit and focus yourself and think about literally nothing?

The reason most of us are unable to meditate is that we have an epidemic of mind-wandering. Whether it’s shrinking attention spans or just that our plates are too full, a Harvard University study revealed that 46.9 of people spend most of their day with their minds jumping from topic to topic. This amount of un-focus is terrible for our happiness levels; we constantly feel like we’re overwhelmed and stressed out, and the remedy is literally what is causing the problem: calming down and centering ourselves.

The good news is that there is a solution. When we really enjoy something, an action that gives us pleasure and yet doesn’t require a lot of cerebral power, we tend to zone out in a very pleasing way. This zoning out is a form of meditation; when you’re not thinking of anything particular, your brain gets a chance to rest in the way that it does with real meditation. To practice, make a list of five things you really enjoy, like bike riding or cooking dinner. Make a conscious decision to focus on your senses when you do they, like how something smells or the particular feeling of going fast while you cycle. Before you know it, you’ll be meditating like a pro!