I tried this 10-minute meditation during my lunch break and it helped me deal with stress and boosted my productivity

Yoga With Adriene's new mindfulness practice is designed to balance the nervous system

Woman meditating on bed in cross-legged position
(Image credit: Alice Porter)

Exercising is my go-to way to manage stress in life but sometimes I don’t have time for a full workout during my lunch break. That’s why I decided to try a meditation practice to see if it’s a good alternative when time is short.

I've always been reluctant to meditate, because I find sitting down with nothing but my thoughts extremely difficult. 

Luckily, I found some short meditation videos by one of my favorite yoga instructors Adriene Mishler, which seemed fairly accessible. These ten-minute meditation practices are designed to settle the mind and balance the nervous system. 

Why do you need to balance your nervous system? If you’re in a constantly stressed state and unable to bring yourself "back to balance", it can negatively impact physical and mental health. Research has shown that meditation can support nervous system regulation by lowering the heart rate and reducing the body’s stress response.

This 10-minute meditation practice doesn't require any equipment and you can do it sitting on the floor, in a chair or even on your bed as I did. It was a great way to take a quick breather from the stress of the working day.

Watch Adriene Mishler's meditation for balancing the nervous system

I always find the first few minutes of meditation uncomfortable, particularly when I'm stressed, as I start fidgeting and mentally running through my to-do list. Today was no different, as I had a busy morning at work and I was feeling fairly agitated.

Forcing myself to sit still can be difficult but with Mishler's guided breathwork, I soon felt my body relax. And although the time dragged at the beginning of the practice, by the end I wished that the session had been longer.

When I returned to my desk, I felt calmer and I was more productive during the afternoon, making a conscious effort to focus on my breathing, which allowed me to concentrate without getting overwhelmed or distracted.

If you're looking for more ways to relax and meditation is too challenging, try mindful walking or yin yoga, both of which combine mindfulness techniques with movement.

Looking for a new mat for meditation practice? Our guide to the best yoga mats can help

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.