Informal meditation teaches us to face every moment of the day with full attention. It helps us to find tranquility and to think in a more relaxed, fluid, creative and serene way.
Last update: 28 March, 2021
Informal meditation is a meditation practice to be used in any daily circumstance. Unlike formal meditation, it does not require a specific space or time, nor a structured routine. It doesn't even take a lot of time.
It is a practice that can be done at any time and in any place. It is not necessary to interrupt one's activities or have particular skills. Thanks to informal meditation, we can find greater tranquility by sharpening our perception and our concentration.
“Living in the future or the past makes no sense. It's like living in memory or imagination ”.
-It was a proverb-
The main purpose of informal meditation is the same as formal meditation: to live fully in the present. To enter into a deep connection with oneself and with the current world. This is to avoid the emotional overloads that create stress at the end of the day.
Start the day with formal meditation
Waking up is one of the most important moments of the day. The brain is fresher and more alert, as well as rested. This is the perfect time to do informal meditation.
Take five deep breaths as soon as you wake up. Focus as much as possible on the way air enters and leaves your lungs. Now get up slowly, carefully following all the movements you make. Focus on the way your body moves from lying to standing.
Even the first morning hygiene is an ideal occasion for informal meditation. Focus on all the sensations you feel when washing yourself. How the water flows on your body, how your skin reacts to it. Do the same thing while brushing your teeth.
Full attention while eating
While we eat we are used to watching television, chatting with other people or simply getting lost in our thoughts and worries.
We should learn to be attentive during meals, to focus on what we are eating, what perceptions are generated in us, the taste, the smell of food.
The ideal is to eat slowly and chew slowly. Not only will the foods taste better, we will also promote digestion and enjoy the meal more. It is a way to practice informal meditation at any time of the day.
It is an informal meditation technique particularly suited to the most difficult moments. Especially when we are overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, or under pressure from circumstances. It is an ultra-fast practice ideal for recovering balance.
The basic rule is unique: it must never last more than a minute. Retreat to a space where you can be alone (at least initially). Then, put your feet on the ground, sit down, relax your arms and close your eyes. Now breathe with awareness of each breath.
After a minute of the clock, resume your normal activities. It is normal for distracting thoughts to appear during practice, especially if you are a beginner. The mind is like that, it tends to wander even if it is only a minute. By practicing express meditation often, you will need less and less time to regain balance.
The moments of informal meditation
Informal meditation is an ideal technique for those moments of the day that we define "dead times", when we are not doing any activity that requires high levels of concentration.
Almost all household activities, for example, allow you to do this type of meditation. When you make the bed, wash the dishes, tidy up your clothes, clean the house, prepare food, take the dog out… the day is filled with moments of this kind.
Dead times are also those of travel, when we wait for our turn or are in the waiting room. Even when the light is red and we are waiting to cross the street, we can take advantage of a minute of informal meditation.
All these activities are a unique opportunity to constantly train ourselves to live a full life in the present. This practice serves to wake us up, relax, allows ideas and creativity to flow. It also keeps our emotions in balance making us stronger and more valid.