How To Practice Shower Meditation For Stress Relief & Better Sleep
Winding down after a long day filled with internal stress and external stimulation is no easy task. Plus, coming home to a long list of to-do's, like making dinner or doing laundry, doesn't help. Because of this, it can be difficult to find genuine moments of solitude and serenity.
However, you can take advantage of the one moment you truly have to yourself each day: your shower routine. While it can be easy to rush through a daily rinse, you might want to slow down for the sake of your well-being—here's the easy routine I swear by.
How to practice shower meditation.
My pro tip: Meditate while you're in the shower. This doesn't mean you need to sit on the floor and focus on your breath; simply being present in the moment can serve as a mindful activity.
The first step is to make your shower setting as relaxing as possible. This means setting the water to your ideal temperature and calling upon tools like shower bouquets, eucalyptus bundles, essential oils, or even room sprays and pillow mists. This will help set the tone for your shower meditation. Keep an eye out for scents like eucalyptus, chamomile, lavender, or rosemary—anything that will make you stop and say ahhh.
Before you step in the shower, take three deep and slow breaths. This will help relax your mind before you even step under the spray, which will make the following exercise just a bit easier.
After you've tuned in to intentional breathing, it's time to step in the shower and start practicing visualization. As the warm water runs down your skin, imagine that those droplets have the energy to literally wash away negative thoughts.
As the water continues to flow over you, try to think about every little thing that may have stressed you out that day, and imagine the water washing it down the drain. Envision light, positive emotions like happiness, relaxation, and bliss coming from the showerhead and soaking into your skin.
You can even do this meditation while washing your hair. In fact, relying on a bit of scalp massage may help relax your physical body even more. Simply take your fingertips (not your nails!) and massage each area of your scalp while envisioning the negative emotions washing out of your strands.
Bonus: Not only is scalp massage A+ for relaxation, but it's also been shown to improve hair thickness1, thanks to increased circulation. Now, if you want to take this ultra-relaxing ritual to the next level, here are a few ways to upgrade the practice:
- Practice full-body gua sha before or after stepping in the shower.
- Dry brush your whole body pre-rinse.
- Follow up with a hydrating face mask.
- Take a magnesium supplement to encourage better sleep post-rinse (here's a list of our top picks).
- Play relaxing music during your shower meditation.
- Dim the lighting in your bathroom.
- Light a candle.
The next time you take a shower, envision all of your negative emotions rinsing off of your body and down the drain. Once you exit the shower, you'll likely feel more at peace than before you stepped inside. After this relaxing rinse, you'll be even more ready for a good night's sleep; still, if you tend to struggle with getting high-quality Zzz's, these tips should help.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.