Travelling to and from work can be a very stressful part of our day especially when the bus or train is crowded and all you want to do is get to your destination or unwind from a busy day. However this can be a perfect time to mediate and have a break from our screens and devices which only stimulate the brain more. Even if there is noise and hustle and bustle, we can slow down our minds while we wait to get home.
First of all become aware of your surroundings. Instead of going over all the events that took place at work and running away with the pictures in your mind, practice a little bit of mindfulness. Notice the scenery passing out side the window. Or if its dark, notice the carriage and the people around you. Look at all the details and feel yourself start to enter the present moment, as it is now.
Next become aware of your own body. Feel your feet on the floor. Imagine yourself connected to the centre of the earth via a cord running down from the bottom of your feet. This can be particularly helpful if you are standing on a train and swaying about. Once you feel the ground beneath you, start to become aware of your breath. Don’t force it to be any different, just notice the air going in and out of your nose. If the sounds around you seem very invasive, try to imagine them as powerless. Just the noise of life. You can hear them without particularly listening to them or latching on to them. Just listen to and feel your breath. Notice how the rhythm is like the tide going in and out, back and forth.
Start to focus on various parts of your body. Starting with your hands, just notice them. How do they feel? Tight, soft, clenched? It doesn’t matter. You don’t need to change anything. Just notice and breathe in and out. Then notice you elbows, your arms, your shoulders and work your way round your body. Meanwhile just let all the noises carry on in the background. Let them be there, the sounds of life going on. They don’t need to irritate you if you accept them as part of the fabric of life that is around you but not part of your inner world of peace.
Once you have gone through your whole body, take a few moments to just breathe again. Feel the relaxation starting to take effect throughout your body. Notice how you have tuned out from everyone around you and now have some inner space to dwell in. The final step is to take a moment and think about a few things you are grateful for. Even if it was a really hard day or there is a lot on your mind, put these aside and just notice 5 things that you appreciate in your life. It could be just a beautiful blue sky or a bird you heard singing in the morning. Or it could be someone you feel lucky to have in your life. Or a piece of music or a book you are enjoying. It could be gratitude for the people working on your train or bus who are doing their best to provide you with transport. There is always so much around us to be grateful for but we can get so caught up focusing on the things that aren’t going the way we want. Gratitude soothes our nervous systems and helps us to approach our problems with a bit more calmness.
Enjoy the rest of your journey!