A Guide to Practicing Active Meditation During Daily Activities

Active Meditation During Daily Activities
You don't have to set aside three hours a day to meditate effectively. In fact, there are probably several times during the day when you engage in routine chores or easy activities perfect for adopting a calm, meditative attitude. Doing this a few minutes each day can help keep you centered.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Meditation is often passive, requiring practitioners to clear their thoughts and rest their bodies in neutral positions or gentle meditative poses. However, action can also be meditative, and by incorporating various types of meditations into daily activities, you can improve your quality of life by improving your ability to focus, stay calm, retain awareness, and maintain balance in your body, mind, and spirit.
When NOT to Meditate?
Because meditation is most effective when you are able to clear your mind of all stressful and distracting thoughts, any activity done for meditation should be fairly repetitive, and should not require too much concentration. Another tip―meditation is a way of allowing ourselves a reprieve from daily concerns and worries, so it's probably not wise to attempt to incorporate meditation into anything that is itself a source of stress.
meditation during office work
If you try to adopt a meditative attitude while you're in an important business meeting, you run several risks. First, you might actually need to concentrate on the meeting! Although it would be nice to be able to have a clear, calm mind every minute of the day, most of us have not yet reached the level in our meditative practice where we can retain clear minds in situations that require our concentration.
Don't Make Meditation Stressful: A Lesson from Behaviorism
Another potential problem with trying to meditate during stressful activities is the danger of developing negative associations. Whenever unpleasant feelings accompany a particular activity, we are likely to develop negative associations with the activity, even if the activity and the bad emotions had nothing to do with one another.
stressfree meditation
For example, if you go out with friends when you are in a bad mood and fail to have a fun time, you may not be so eager to go out with them again, because the memory of having a bad time influences your feelings about the activity. It doesn't matter what caused your bad mood, or that you know on some level that it wasn't your friends' fault you had a bad night. The emotional association between the feeling and the action makes a mark on the subconscious mind. (This is part and parcel of behavioral psychology).
If you try to meditate during a stressful or unpleasant activity, you might start to associate meditation itself with stress. This is a good way to get your wires crossed, and after a while, you could even start to become more stressed out when the thought of meditation comes up. Hence, although it's good to incorporate meditative attitudes into daily activities, choose the activities carefully.
When to Practice Active Meditation?
Here are a few ideas for activities during which you can practice active meditation:

- Washing the dishes

- Taking a shower

- Standing in line at a bank or café

- Doing daily household cleaning or other chores
girl painting
- Painting
excersing
- Exercising

- Any routine physical activity that you perform regularly
Lowering Your Baseline Stress Level
Each of these activities is fairly easy, repetitive, and hopefully stress-free.
Of course, when you become adept in your meditative practice, you can begin to take a meditative attitude during less routine activities as well. This way, if you don't have time for regular meditation sessions in your daily life, you can still calm your mind for a few minutes each day. Although this may seem like it's not enough, think of it this way―the more time you spend feeling calm and centered, the lower your baseline stress level will be.
happy boy
Meditation makes you calm and happy.
Although it may take many years to be able to retain this state all the time, lowering your baseline stress level even a little bit can have a hugely positive effect on your life. Difficult and troubling events will still cause you stress, but if you are starting from a lower baseline, those stress peaks won't be so high, and you can return to a comfortable level of existence that much more quickly.