In her book and blog about The Happiness Project (, author Gretchen Rubin shares how she puts “meditation” at the end of any task she considered boring or unpleasant.  She routinely participated in “sitting in traffic meditation,” “doing laundry meditation,” or “listening to a long story on the phone meditation” throughout her day.

Rather than fall victim to the natural brain reaction of irritation, she suggests that “dig in” to the activity and take the perspective of a journalist or scientist.

This exercise is designed to teach you how to objectively observe without getting hijacked by negative reactions… starting with “little things.”


When you find yourself in a boring, less pleasant or unpleasant situation, put the word “meditation” after the activity that is bothering you.  Focus your attention on “what is happening” inside and around you as if you were offering a play-by-play account of the event like a sports announcer.

For example, when recently interrupted by a copier that was out of ink, my Not Being Able to Print Meditation went something like this:  Feeling irritated… Taking a deep breath… Wondering why this has to happen to me.. Starting some “why me” and “why now” inner commentary that is familiar feeling… Noticing growing irritation… Taking a deep breath… Struggling between wanting to rant and continuing to breathe… Smiling because I notice that I want to rant… Walking down the hall to ask for help… Smiling when someone offers to help… Feeling gratitude that someone knows how to fill the cartridge… Saying thank you and noticing that I really mean it… Feeling appreciation for my helper… Smiling that I was able to notice and interrupt my less skilled Irritation-Only reaction.

© Copyright 2014 Maria Hunt
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