In honour of World Meditation Day, author and Wellness Coach Gillian McMichael tells us how we can easily fit more meditation into our day-to-day lives.

Meditation is one of the most powerful practices for awakening your true self and the peace that lies within. When in meditation, you go beyond the noisy chatter into inner quiet, expanded awareness that helps you to be more effective and connect with who you really are.

While we have probably all heard of it, many don’t consider meditation to be something that can be easily incorporated into their day — but this is far from the case. There is no correct way to meditate, with many forms and techniques of the ancient practice.

Read on to discover the best ways to incorporate meditation into any point of your day, so you can reap the benefits.

When you are getting ready in the morning

For many, the morning routine is incredibly busy, which can set a chaotic tone for the day ahead. But what if you could easily incorporate breathwork to ease any anxieties about the day ahead?

Try swapping singing in the shower for deep breathing, taking slow breaths in and long exhales out. Practice being mindful, taking note of the water, the sensations, the sounds, and the effect on your senses to calm yourself each morning.

Travelling into work

When we are commuting, we are often bogged down thinking about the day ahead. However, meditation can help to clear your mind, aiding in focus and intention setting.

All you need to start is 2 minutes where you can focus on your breath, breathing in through your nose on the count of 4, feeling the breath in your stomach, and releasing through your mouth on the count of 4.

When a thought arises, come back to the breath. If you’re travelling on public transport, it is an opportunity to put down your phone and connect with yourself, mind and body, to set out intentions for the day ahead.

Taking your lunch break

Taking a full lunch break is essential to optimal productivity, and meditation can provide the ultimate pause from work by clearing your mind, restoring oxygen levels, and lowering stress and anxiety.

Sit in a quiet spot and focus on your breath. As thoughts arise, let them float away and connect in that moment with who you are. Know that between every thought is a space. All the creativity, happiness, joy, and all the possibilities in your life come from that space.

Allow your thoughts to settle down, allow your body to settle down, and allow space to be created within you.

While you are waiting in a queue

For many, the prospect of waiting in a queue can be infuriating, but what if you could give this wasted time some new purpose? You might not be able to get into a full meditative state, but you can focus on breathing consciously.

Be aware of your breath; notice the breath flow effortlessly. Inhaling and exhaling, just breathing in and breathing out with the natural ebb and flow of your body.

When you are doing your chores

Often music or TV serves as a distraction while completing chores, but what if achieving a meditative state could actually help to motivate you more? Why not use the repetitive tasks to help you count your breath and find a rhythm?

While you are clearing out your job list, the repetition can help you clear your mind. Once you are feeling calm and super productive, you will be more inclined to keep ticking off those jobs you might have been putting off.

In a busy social event

Do you have a social event in the calendar that is already filling you with fear? It is okay to feel this way, and meditation can help to bring you back to the present.

Taking a moment to meditate in moments of social overwhelm doesn’t have to make you feel removed or isolated, but actually can make you feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Try to find a moment where you can focus on your breath, while going to the bathroom or waiting for a drink. Take deep breaths in, feeling the air move inward as your mind and body start to settle, and then you can begin to feel more at ease with your surroundings.

Before you go to bed

Meditation in the evening can also have reflective powers with a more restorative purpose. As human beings, we have between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day. 95% of the thoughts that you have today, you will have tomorrow, the day after, and the day after that. So why not use this time to empty your mind and have a good night’s rest?

Many experts believe that lying down is beneficial in meditation. It is also highly likely in meditation that you’ll fall asleep; this is your body trying to heal itself. After an anxious day, meditation before bed can help to clear your mind and create a good sleep routine.

Remember there is no failing in meditation, and it is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Find out when it fits best into your own lifestyle and try to embed this into your routine. The more you practice conscious breathing, the more you will experience inner silence and feel increasingly peaceful in a busy world.

Gillian McMichael is a Transformational wellness coach, founder of One Life at Home and author of Coming Home: A Guide to Being Your True Self