Reaping the mind, body, and spiritual benefits of mindfulness doesn’t have to take a lot of time — in fact, studies show you can usher in greater calm, creativity, and vitality with one minute meditations! Read on for strategies proven to melt stress and unleash joy in just 60 seconds.
Inhale This Scent
A study revealed that 86 percent of people exposed to the sweet scent of flowers enjoyed an instant surge in feelings of happiness and relaxation.
Study author Alan Hirsch, MD, explains that floral aromas spark joyful memories, triggering a blissful, nostalgic response. Keep a bottle of gardenia essential oil like Eternal Essence Gardenia (Buy on Amazon, $6.70) in your purse and sniff deeply whenever you need a boost.
Find Calm at Your Fingertips
The secret to serenity is a simple fingertip meditation, says Shirzad Chamine, author of Positive Intelligence (Buy on Amazon, $53.97).
To do: Gently rub your thumb and forefinger together in a circular motion for 10 seconds. By bringing your attention to a physical sensation, this tactile mindfulness slows racing thoughts.
And because nerve endings are concentrated in our fingertips, it’s like a direct path to our brain, ushering in instant calm.
Nosh on a Crunchy Snack
Ground yourself in the moment with a crunchy snack, suggests psychotherapist Arielle Schwartz, PhD.
Moving our jaw causes both compression and loosening in the inner ear, which controls our sense of where our body begins and ends. As a result, noshing on a crunchy treat, like popcorn, helps us feel safe and balanced, physically, and emotionally.
Get ‘In Touch’ With the Earth
The Earth’s electrical field pulses at the same frequency as our brain’s relaxing alpha brain waves.
“Touching the earth, or ‘grounding,’ helps us sync up with that field and enter a peaceful, healing state,” reveals Laura Koniver, MD, author of The Earth Prescription (Buy on Amazon, $15.28).
Despite its name, grounding doesn’t necessarily mean taking a barefoot stroll on the grass. In one study, touching the earth with your hand for mere seconds was shown to lower tension and lead to more restorative sleep.
Write Out Racing Thoughts
“I handwrite a lot to soothe my anxiety,” reveals Sarah Wilson, author of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety (Buy on Amazon, $18.18).
“It allows me to connect with my thoughts. Typing on a keyboard,
by contrast, is too fast, jangling my nerves as my fingers rush to keep up,” she says, revealing that she even hand-wrote the first draft of her 300-page book. “I’m not always going
to read back over it. Gosh no,” she laughs. “But I find it takes about a minute and the frazzle backs off.”
Watch Light Dance
“Just before morning light, I like to pause and light a candle,” shares Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest and author of Finding Balance (Buy on Amazon, $18.70). “It’s a simple ritual that goes well with a cup of tea or coffee and brings such a sense of hope — imagine the dancing flame awakening your most inspired dreams and ideas.”
Spending just 60 seconds on these one minute meditations will center and focus your mind.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Kindfulness (Buy on Amazon, $12.99).
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