Mind rushing? Thoughts racing at an Indy 500 clip? Then it’s time to give yourself and that brain of yours a time-out. Yep, some mental chill-laxing, intellectual down time … plain old space. Here’s a simple relaxation meditation to help you create spaciousness between you and the mental chatter – however ‘important’ it may seem.

Relaxation Meditation

This meditation has three simple parts: Inhale, Exhale, Silence. The great thing about it is that you can make it as short and sweet as 5 minutes, use it as your daily meditation practice, or apply it in a ‘pinch’ when you’re too stressed out, worried (or even if you’ve had too much caffeine :)) Here’s what you do …

  1. Get yourself physically comfortable enough to be undistracted by aches, pains or itches.
  2. Take one big, deep breath in, filling your lungs with air, then exhale quickly and completely.
  3. On the next inhale, imagine that the air itself contains whatever you need to relax your mind. Maybe you see this as white light. Maybe little butterflies or a cooling breeze. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it represents relaxation for your mind.
  4. After holding the inhalation for 2-3 seconds, begin slowly releasing the breath.
  5. Imagine that what you’re releasing is the mental chatter. Again you can visualize this as light, energy, spastic frogs, jumping dogs or a tumbling alphabet. It doesn’t matter, just let it go completely.
  6. Here’s where the fun starts! When you’ve completely emptied your body of air, take a few seconds to just be totally empty – of air, of thought or mental noise. Just BE for a few seconds before you start the cycle over.
  7. Repeat as long as you’d like.

Most people who try this catch their mind piping in after a few seconds, saying “hey! I’m being silent!” effectively ending the silence. If this happens to you, don’t worry – it’s normal. The trick with this kind of relaxation meditation – and all meditation, really – is that the more you do it, the longer those little silent ‘spaces’ become. Try it for awhile and you’ll see!

Do you have a meditation method that gives you mental space? Please share it with us in the comments below.