As psychologist and mindfulness teacher Elisha Goldstein, PhD, tells us, mindfulness increases and becomes more automatic the more we practice it.
One simple way to practice is to incorporate small doses of mindfulness throughout the day. Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg calls these “stealth meditations.” As she explained in an article on Inc.com:
“If you’re at work and there’s a contentious meeting going on and tempers are starting to flare, you don’t have to open up the closet and pull out all this equipment, sit down cross-legged, light the incense and look weird… You just need to settle your attention on your breath.”
Which of these “stealth meditations” might work for you? What other possibilities can you think of?
- Ringing telephone stealth meditation. When the telephone rings, pause for a moment and follow one breath (inhale, exhale) before you answer.
- Hitting “send” stealth meditation. When you finish composing a text or email message, don’t hit “send” right away. Pause and breathe – and maybe decide if you really want to send it :-O.
- Sitting at a red light stealth meditation. When you’re driving, take advantage of red lights to take a mindful pause, focus on your breath, and engage in a mini-meditation. You can even close your eyes — the car behind you almost always will let you know when the light turns green :-).
- Unitasking stealth meditation. I can’t say it better than Sharon Salzberg: “Maybe don’t drink the tea while you’re checking your email while you’re on the conference call while you have the TV on mute reading the crawl underneath. Maybe you just drink the cup of tea. It’s not going to take hours, and you’re not going to ruin your workday, but it’s a very different experience.”