Guest blog from the lovely Hayley Gillard
Meditation for Busy Minds
Life can be busy, stressful and slightly crazy sometimes. When you run your own business it’s so easy to get into overwhelm and panic, sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees and that can really quickly lead to burn out. Trust me I’ve done it. I’ve burnt out more than once and I’ve now taken those experiences, my holistic therapy training and my love of nature and I now teach people how to relax, take time out and put their wellbeing first so that they prevent it from happening again.
Meditation is an amazing way to manage your emotional health. Meditation can be done anywhere. You can meditate for 10 seconds or 10 hours and the benefits are huge.
Research from Headspace states meditation can help alleviate anxiety, manage stress, significantly improve sleep, improve relationships and improve problem solving.
You really can improve your wellbeing, boost your self-love and manage your emotional health through a short meditation practice daily.
It only takes a minute to fall in love with yourself. To look after yourself. To spend time on yourself. To improve your creativity, productivity and focus. To make positive shifts in your mindset. To improve relationships and change the way you’re living your life. We all want a bit of that right!?
One minute can really make a huge difference to all of that. This week I was a featured expert in an online women’s entrepreneur forum and one of the videos I created for them was about taking a 1 minute retreat. It inspired me to want to share with you some of the one minute relaxation and de-stress ideas I use in my ecotherapy coaching for when women are feeling overwhelmed, out of sync and in need of a bit of breathing space.
If you have JUST ONE MINUTE to give yourself today, make it one of these top tips:
The One Minute Retreat
Get up and go and stand somewhere outside. It can just be on your porch or in your back door way if you don’t fancy the weather. If you can only manage a window with a view of the sky, that’s ok too. Just stop. Spend one minute just looking out into the world. People don’t even need to know what you’re doing if you walk past. Just pause. Getting up and moving somewhere new will help you to shake things up a bit. You’ll change your view for a minute, you’ll rest your eyes for a minute and you’ll give your shoulders a chance to relax.
Stretching is a great way to get the blood flowing round your body again and you can even nip to the bathroom to do this if you work with others. It’s a really nice mindfulness meditation and brings your attention right into the present moment and out of the stresses going on in your brain. Here’s a quick stretch routine that really works to wake you up, get your feeling on the ball again and increases your enthusiasm:
BREATHE IN – Reach up tall above your head
BREATHE OUT – Reach down low to the floor by your toes from the waist (just as far as is comfortable for you)
BREATHE IN – Reach up to the sky again
BREATHE OUT – Return your hands to your side.
Repeat 3-4 times.
Focus on Breath
This is a small meditation you can use anywhere. On the train. On the dog walk. On the school run. At your desk. If it’s safe to do so you can close your eyes, or if not, allow your eyes to lose focus and just rest softly in front of you, not looking at anything in particular. Slow your breathing down and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat this a couple of times to get used to the motion. As you continue to breathe in this way bring your attention to your body. Notice which parts move as you breathe. Is it your chest? Your mouth? Your back? Bring your focus then into the more subtle movements. Can you feel the breath in your shoulders? Your arms?
Spend a couple of seconds just noticing your breath. Then just allow your mind to go blank. Let your mind wander, or be still, whichever you want to do naturally. Gradually bring your attention back into the room and open your eyes.
Ok, so technically this may take about 3 minutes but it absolutely is meditation! Feel good, feel present, enjoy yourself and HAVE FUN! It helps your brain relax and that’s good enough for me. Put on your favourite upbeat, happy song and shake it baby! Sing too! Feel the rhythm, hear the positivity and get those muscles moving! Dancing will wake you up, increase your blood flow which your brain can use to refocus and become more productive, it releases endorphins in the brain which are your feel good hormones and it gets you breathing too.
So now you see, meditation isn’t just for monks. It can be done anywhere! It’s fun! It has tonnes of benefits and it can really help to boost your wellbeing!
Hayley Gillard is an Ecotherapist. She uses nature as inspiration to help people manage their emotional health. She runs regular outdoor workshops, nature retreats, ecotherapy coaching and online programmes. You can find her drinking hot chocolate around the campfire or walking barefoot through the trees. Find out more at www.hayleygillard.com.