Have you tried meditation? Or tried to try? Maybe you’ve just felt like you’re supposed to try, but… I mean, the benefits seem blissfully good, and people who get there are just so…. I don’t know - I always feel a little inadequate around their inner peace.
So here’s my busy-brain version - no zen mental state needed. No counting breaths or repeating mantras or watching imaginary drifting clouds while struggling to ignore a million thoughts. In fact, your mind will be online the whole time - that’s the cool part. And you can dip in for 5 seconds or 5 minutes or… go ahead… 5 hours, you over-acheiver.
Ready? Here’s how: Pick a sense, and notice stuff.
That’s really it, but here’s a little more detail if you want.
Sit or lie down, or walk or jog or stretch or do the dishes, and choose a sense to focus on. (Okay, don’t pick tasting or smelling for this.)
Can you feel points of your body on the chair or floor? In your clothes? Can you feel the air or your body breathing in? What does it feel like to breathe in and out - nose to belly? Can you feel soreness, tightness, floppiness - and what does it feel like to let it go some more? Feel bones, muscles, organs. Skin, toes, jaw. Don’t think about it - just get deepinto the feeling part.
What about hearing? Birds? Cars? The fridge humming? What does each thing actually sound like when you focus on it? Don’t just name it and move on - stay and really listen. Can you hear your body digesting maybe? Or breathing? What about weather or voices or critters?
Seeing is a great sense to be still with or take on a walk. How many shades of green or brown do you see? Or if you’re indoors, how many shadows can you see? What color are they - not what you “know” - what you truly see. (Spoiler alert: shadows aren’t grey.) Maybe find all the red around you. Or blue or shiny things. Or curves or corners or things that are moving. Notice it all without naming or reacting.
And when you’re done - high five to you for doing something amazing for yourself! You brought your whole, brilliant, active mind into the present moment for a bit. No past, no future, no stories - just here now. And you get all the goodies that the varsity meditators get (lower blood pressure, increased sense of calm and well-being, etc), and you did it by using your mind to get there, rather than trying to somehow stop it.
Let me know if you try and how it feels. :)