I am always looking for ways to make meditation feel more accessible for myself and for all of you. I know that my breath can be a really powerful tool when I am stressed out but, in those moments, meditation can feel really hard! That being said, visualization can be a great way to focus your mind and your breath when you feel really scattered and here are a few techniques worth trying!
Square Breathing Meditation: I love this simple approach which gives you a point of focus to calm your mind and center your breath. This visual meditation is a good tool that you can do with your eyes open or closed depending on your needs. Here are the basics:
- Find an object that is square shaped- focus on the top left corner (or visualize a square if your eyes are closed)
- Inhale (5 count) : as you inhale move your focus from the top left corner to the top right corner
- Exhale (5 count): as you exhale slowly move your focus to the to bottom right corner
- Inhale (5 count): as you inhale slowly move your focus to the bottom left corn
- Exhale (5 count): Return to where you started from and repeat as many times as needed
- Try This: Inhale on the top, hold your breath on the down, exhale on the bottom and hold your breath on the up for a great variation!
Bonus* Once you feel like you have a good grip on square breathing and want to advance: think of something simple that you are grateful for- for example “I am grateful for the sun.” “I am thankful for my health”- and repeat these phrases with every inhale and exhale.
Mind in a Jar Meditation: This little gem was in one of my little guys mindfulness and meditation books! Yes, its for kids but I found it resonated with me as well!
- Collect props: A mason jar, water, sand or glitter from a craft store
- Build your jar: Fill the jar with water and add the sand or glitter (a few tablespoons is fine–think snow globe style)
- Close the jar tight and shake it up—>the swirling sand/glitter represents your thoughts all scrambled up in your head!
- Meditate: find a comfortable seat and place the jar in front of you. Breath mindfully as the sand/glitter starts to settle and meditate on the fact the your own thoughts start to settle and calm as you breath!
The point of this mediation is to teach ourselves that it is OKAY to have jumbled thoughts and, with our breath we can settle our mind–our mind can find clarity in the most chaotic of moments.
What meditation tools do you use to quiet your mind?