Have you ever thought that your daily shower could be a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness? For those busy midlife women struggling to find me-time, meditations under the shower can be a real game changer in their usual self-care rituals and a way to observe their habitual patterns of thinking.
If that sounds a bit naive or just another unconventional approach to well-being to try from time to time, think again.
Shower meditation – also known as waterfall meditation- is the practice of using your shower routine to mindfully refresh your mind by focusing your attention on your current intentions, movements and feelings, combining breath work, sensory awareness, and gratitude to achieve a state of relaxation. A great chance to improve sleep quality, boost our mental health, as well as facilitate mind-body connection.
Here at CrunchyTales, we’ve started to do that after we came across an interesting book “Shower Blessings- Finding Meditation Time in a Busy Life“, by Dr Katie Nall.
A late-in-life doctoral student, who earned her PhD in Mathematics Education from the Florida Institute of Technology, just before her 60th birthday while working full-time at a local community college, Dr Nall found herself alone in her shower and decided that it was the best place (and time) for meditating. She soon then included it amongst her techniques to dissolve what she calls WAFFLES – worries, anxiety, fear, frustration, lethargy, exhaustion, and stress.
And if a mathematician found it useful, then who are we to disagree?
Indeed, there is something about the water, the scent of the soap and the fresh clean feeling that allows us to feel invigorated and recharged.
Of course, everyone here enjoys their own shower in different ways. Some like singing to boost mood and mental health, others prefer repeating empowering mantras such as “I cleanse myself so I may feel light, peaceful and at ease” while they scrub their body all over as a way to get rid of negative energies.
The idea is to become super aware and present of everything we experience in that particular moment. There’s no right way to do it. The most important thing is to develop a practice that feels right to you. For some, this may include closing their eyes, for others, it will include listening to guided meditations.
One of the most popular techniques is focusing the attention on how it feels being under the shower, breathing in the steam around us, and imaging the water takes our stress, anger, regret, sadness and negativity with itself. Another one is cleansing our thoughts by mindfully washing our hair as a way of taking everything from our minds.
Jon Kabat Zinn, the father of the Western mindfulness movement, suggests starting with creating a relaxing environment by turning off our phones, perhaps dimming the lights, and lighting candles. Then set an intention. It might be to wash away the stress of the day, relax under the water, or achieve mental clarity. It’s also essential to concentrate on our senses by performing what he calls “a full body scan“.
Although a shower meditation sounds very simple to do, it’s indeed a bit difficult to practise because our mind likes wandering unharnessed. Ideally, even if it might sound unpleasant, meditative cold ones are the best to revitalise our senses and bodies, encouraging the release of dopamine. So, what better time than Summer to start practising it?
Whether you believe in the power of shower meditation or not, incorporating these simple routines into your morning will help you create an oasis of calm amidst chaos, and root yourself in the present starting every day off the right way.
Midlife is the right time to take stock and count our blessings. If that means carving out quality time during our shower, and learning new effective ways to keep our problems behind, then why not?