YARMOUTH, Maine — Dr. Allyson Coffin is a chiropractor who approaches wellness as a whole, offering online classes in meditation. Admittedly, meditation isn’t an easy thing to jump into, especially if you’re someone who struggles to turn off thoughts. Coffin said there are three simple and free things that you can do at home, at work, or even in the car that will help you see your days with more optimism.
1. Transitional breathing
“A lot of us still drive to work,” Coffin said, “So when you get in your car from your house to your car, when you sit in it, just do three big breaths because you’re transitioning from your home environment to your commuting environment.”
Three big breaths, then start your drive. When you get to work, do three big breaths before you get out and get into work mode.
“[It] takes three seconds, and then your body is ready for the next thing. So you’re not just dragging every part of your day together into a big mush pot. It’s all different things,” Coffin said.
This is how simple it is: hold one hand on your chest and another on your belly, close your eyes, and breathe three times, focusing on the breath each time.
2. Gratitude practice
Write down what you are grateful for. Maybe pick two or three things when you first wake up and write them down each day. To make it even easier, think about three things you are grateful for while you’re making your coffee or driving to work.
“It decreases our stress so much so that a study in 2017 found that people who have a regular gratitude practice or think of things they are grateful for every day are 90% less stressed than the other people,” Coffin said.
“I always hear all the time 'I can’t get rid of my thoughts. I can’t meditate,'” Coffin said. “Meditation is a great stress reducer, but this way I’m going to teach you is easy and gets you out of your head when you feel like your mind is spinning around.”
“Hold your hand up and trace each finger with your other hand. Slowly follow each contour, breathing in as you travel up a finger, then breathe out as you travel down the other side of it,” Coffin explained.
If you think you need a little more support, there are a number of meditation apps you can download to your phone that will walk you through the process.