I’ve always struggled with mindfulness, with the concept of being “at the moment”. With how busy life is, my brain automatically shifts to what’s next or my growing to-do list.
My therapist suggested I try informal meditation and it finally clicked. I wanted to soak up the little things in life, but the traditional form of meditation was a hard place to start. I struggled to sit, close my eyes and focus on what felt like darkness.
What is Informal Meditation?
Informal Meditation is the act of being mindful of a particular moment. Try using an activity that is already a habit of your daily routine, such as taking a shower.
At that moment, put all your focus on taking a shower. Focus on how the water feels on your skin, the scents of the products you’re using, how the soap feels in your hair, the sound of the water running and the colours around you. Notice the sight of the water droplets on the walls, the water dripping down your body and the steam rising.
When you put your focus on one activity, it forces you to be mindful at that moment. Your focus will be on the shower, not your to-do list. When you start to add this practice into your routine, you’ll notice a shift in your attitude for more openness and curiosity throughout your day.
With time, Informal Meditation will start to become a natural habit, like when you’re drinking your coffee, enjoying the sunset or walking around the block. These mindful moments add up and play a massive role in your mental well-being.
Even though for me, this is easier than traditional meditation, it still took time to adjust and focus. So when you try this practice, other thoughts will sneak in and when they do acknowledge them, and let them go. Like passing cars. Again and again, you’ll get caught up in your thoughts. As soon as you realize this has happened, note what the thought was that distracted you, and bring your attention back to the shower or activity you chose to practice this with.
Want to explore Informal Meditation? Check out this great article from Insight Timer.
You might also enjoy this article on the dark side of mindfulness.