Are you feeling stressed? Are you facing a difficult time at work or at home? Is your mind constantly thinking negative or multiple thoughts at once? Have you heard of meditation but haven’t tried it yet, or aren’t sure how to get started?
This 10 minute meditation can clear the mind, reduce stress and help you feel more in control – and you don’t have to be alone at home to try it!
You will really only need the ability to focus on the present moment, noticing when you are distracted by other thoughts.
Meditation using sound
One of the best ways to de-stress is to use sound as a focus. Sound is a great “anchor” because you can use it anywhere – on your morning walk, in the car, at work and anywhere else you can imagine. Another great advantage is that no one will know you’re doing it!
Focusing on external sounds takes our attention away from anxious or negative thoughts and refocuses us on the present moment. When we’re stressed, we’re usually not aware of the endless repetitive dialogue going on in our minds that intensifies the stress. Most of our thoughts either belong to situations from the past or concern the future. So, meditation brings us back to the present moment, giving our mind a break from all the thoughts that unnecessarily overwhelm it.
Sound meditation can easily be used at any time of the day, so you don’t need to find extra time. These moments of awareness of the present moment can make a huge difference in your day, changing your mood and offering peace and tranquility. After all, who doesn’t need it in their life?
10 minute meditation for stress
You can use it whenever you feel nervous or when you just want to take a break. With practice, meditation enables us to quiet the uncomfortable chatter (usually negative) that dominates our minds. This has a positive effect on our mental health!
Set the timer on your phone to 10 minutes. Take a few breaths to calm down. Then, turn your attention to the sounds that may be heard. What can you hear? Traffic noise? Maybe birds? People chatting next to you? A clock? A colleague’s pencil or keyboard? All this and more can become a source of your focus! Of course, don’t try meditation if you are working with noisy tools, drills, chainsaws, etc. nearby, as it will only cause you to overexert yourself.
So, notice the sounds in your immediate environment and keep your attention there. Notice how the sounds appear, which ones your attention stays the most. Notice how you cannot hold sounds in your mind for a second longer than they last.
When you are distracted by a thought (which is likely to happen immediately) you will simply return slowly to hearing the sounds again. Try not to analyze the sounds or judge them, just listen to them.
Enjoy the fact that you don’t have to control the sounds, they just come and go. You can notice the quality of the sounds, but try not to think about it or tell yourself a story about them. If this happens, just pause the story and go back to listening to the sounds. If you notice that you have an answer to everything, with practice this will improve, the thoughts will begin to shrink and calmness will come faster.
Don’t worry about being perfect, meditation is about being present with clarity and kindness to yourself first, and then to those around you.
Are the sounds constantly changing? Maybe you can hear the wind now? A police siren? A ringing phone? Don’t fall into the trap of labeling sounds again, just recognize what’s around you. Remember, kindness is key, if you get distracted, don’t get angry or judge yourself. Just observe, put aside thoughts and go back to listening to the sounds.
When the timer alerts you, you’re done! Give yourself a few minutes to reorient yourself to the entire environment around you, and feel good, positively rewarding yourself for the effort.
Don’t worry about distractions
If you’re distracted, that’s exactly what your mind has been trained to do. Our minds are chattering all the time. Quiet is a difficult but not impossible part. Noticing the distractions is the main point of meditation. If, for example, instead of focusing on the present moment, you’re thinking about what you’re going to eat for dinner, or a conversation you had earlier, or something that upset you and keeps replaying it in your head, then just come back to the present moment and feel calm.
Instead of getting mad at yourself, congratulate yourself on every achievement! This 10 minute meditation also shows us how many pointless, stupidly stressful thoughts our minds have, and how not every thought is so worthy of our attention. Let yourself be in the moment and simply enjoy the daily mental benefits it can offer you!