10 ways to shift your state in 10 minutes | Inhere meditation pod

A few minutes, and a little bit of space to ourselves – that’s all we need to shift our state.      Here are 10 ways to shift your state in just 10 minutes in the Inhere meditation pod

Our state is how we experience ourselves at any given moment, and it consists of our physiology, our mental state and our emotional climate. States pass through us – there might be calmness or there might be irritation….panic or exhilaration. Each of these states can be traced in our bodies, minds and emotions. The state that we are in affects how we perceive the world around us. For instance the same street magician that seems annoying when we’re walking around angry at our partner, can evoke admiration and laughter if we’re walking hand in hand in a “good mood”. They affect our thoughts, decisions, actions and behaviour. This is why it is important to always notice what state we are in, and decide whether we wish to show up in the world from that state. At times, we may want to shift our state before moving forward.

shift your state

In the office there are times when you are clear and centred. That’s a pretty good mindset from which to communicate with colleagues, make decisions, and get your work done. There are other times when you are triggered – angry about a comment, worried about an email, or upset about something that is happening at home. These states may blurry your thoughts and cloud your judgement. That is when you might want to shift your state.

It doesn’t have to take long to shift our state. And we don’t need to travel to the Himalayas either. Just a few minutes and a little bit of space to ourselves is all we need. Inhere meditation pod is designed to offer you this space wherever you might be…in the office, at a conference, a hotel or in a busy home. Here are 10 ways you can use 10 minutes in the Inhere meditation pod to shift your state.

A little caveat: some of these exercises may bring up some discomfort at first…that’s ok. It may not be easy to feel your body when you’re angry or you might sense some aches and pains as you stretch. Our advice is to go slowly, be gentle on yourself, and stay within the level of discomfort that you feel ok to hold…if anything feels too uncomfortable, then stop.

Just feel it...in your body

You’re overwhelmed. Angry. There’s panic. Whichever it is, it’s the kind of state you want to shift, because a part of you knows it won’t serve you to act from that state. Our first suggestion for when we’re feeling a strong charge like this, is to take 10 minutes, step inside the meditation pod, and just feel it. By feeling it we don’t mean dwelling on it. You feel the sensations in your body, and drop the narrative. Ask yourself, what sensations are there in my body right now? 

By feeling it we don't mean dwelling on it. We mean feel the sensations in your body, and drop the narrative. 

Emotions always have corresponding physical imprints. You might feel anger as heat in the chest or on your face. Your body can feel limp when there is sadness. Get curious. We’re all different, and there’s no right answer. There is just the body and the sensations. Stay with these sensations for 10 minutes, and when your mind starts going into the story again, notice it and gently guide it back to observing the body. You don’t need to change a thing…just notice. We guarantee, when you spend 10 minutes noticing the bodily sensations when there’s a strong charge like anger, fear, sadness there will be some shift in your outlook as you make space to hold the emotion. Whatever the state, it will be a little less charged because you are no longer resisting it. 

Shake it

Gentle, deliberate shaking for 10 minutes loosens up everything – mind, body and emotions. It’s a great way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, our “rest and relax” part of the nervous system. Stand with your feet apart as far as the shoulders, keep the feet on the floor, loosen the knees, close the eyes and gently shake, moving your body up and down like a spring. Move the arms, letting the wrists loosen and shake with the body. Keep doing it for 7 minutes. There shouldn’t be much effort here, just enjoy the shaking. After 7 minutes stop…and just be. Stand or sit, and feel the after-effects. Whatever state you were carrying, it will have shifted. This is a great way to shift tension of any kind and get into a more relaxed state when you need to.

Do a breathing exercise

There are countless breathing exercises that can shift our state, and here we describe a simple one that effectively reduces our stress response in minutes. Dr Herbert Benson first coined the term relaxation response, and this is exactly what is activated in our body with this breathing exercise. It’s called belly breathing. As it’s name implies, you take a long, deep breath in through the nose all the way into the belly, and then ever so slowly exhale fully through the mouth. And repeat. Do this for 9 minutes…and then sit and notice how you feel for the minute after. Have you ever noticed the belly moving up and down when babies breathe in their sleep? This is the most natural, relaxed state of breathing, and it has tremendous benefits for our bodies and minds. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, this breathing exercise can relax muscles, reduce blood pressure, and clear the mind. Our “flight or fight” mode and “always on alert” state is shifted to one that is calmer and more relaxed.

Practice gratitude

Saying thanks, even quietly to ourselves, can literally change our brains and develop a more positive state of mind. The benefits of meditating on gratitude on our mental health are now widely documented. No matter how badly your day has gone, and how hopeless things might seem, taking 10 minutes to notice things we are grateful for, can bring perspective and shift our minds, bodies and emotions. There is always something to be grateful for. We can be grateful to have someone we love in our lives, a piece of music that always lifts us, some act of kindness from a stranger, the fact that there’s a part of our body that doesn’t hurt, or at least that we have a roof over our heads and we know that we’ll get our next meal. Take 10 minutes to sit in reflection, find as may things as you can to be grateful for, from even the smallest little thing to the big things…and quietly feel the gratitude. Become aware of body sensations and emotions as you quietly say thanks for these things. In 10 minutes you will have shifted your state. Especially if you were in a bad mood beforehand!


There’s nothing quite like stretching to really feel the tension drop. It’s not just the physical benefits of loosening, strengthening and increased flexibility at play…stretching helps the mind get calmer and better able to manage stress, especially if it is done with attention to the breath and body while doing it. 10 minutes of stretching will unravel all kinds of tension and literally help us drop the weight of the day, bringing a little more positivity in our being. If you’d like inspiration for stretching exercises, the Mayo Clinic has a great guide here.

Immerse yourself in sound

As science has shown, it’s all about the vibes. Sound vibrations affect our mood which influences our state on every level. Music of different kinds can evoke different emotional states in different people. So, depending on what state you wish to be in, take 10 minutes, step inside the meditation pod, and play the tracks that you know evoke different states in you – motivation, calmness, jubilation, whatever it might be. For some people nature sounds can help bring a positive change in their states of mind, and we offer 5 nature soundtracks from forest sounds to ocean waves you can access for free here. Or use your headphones to tune into some binaural beats, which are specific sound frequencies, different in each earphone, that when played are said to induce states of relaxation and reduce anxiety. You can find binaural beats on MyNoise to try.

Focus with mindfulness meditation

Did you know that only 8 minutes of mindfulness meditation can reduce mind-wandering for a while? Distracted minds are one of the most common factors getting in the way of our wellbeing and productivity today. We are never really here….we’re always out there. Checking our emails, mindlessly scrolling social media, worrying about the future, reminiscing about the past…imagining we’ll be happy when we have this or that. And this is how we miss out on life, which is the here and now. Our monkey minds are designed to pull us away from this here now with the slightest stimulus. And this is why we are now starting to realise the importance of being able to wield our attention as we choose, when we choose. Focussing techniques are one of the main elements of mindfulness meditation, and they are designed to improve our capacity to focus and our overall alertness. Try one of the Focus meditations in our free guided meditations here and shift your mindset so you can finally attend to what you need.

Ground yourself - like a tree

This is one of the most surprising “exercises” for most people because you don’t really move – and yet it is one of the most powerful stances in Tai Chi to ground ourselves, develop concentration, and help our internal energy flow efficiently. You basically stand as if you’re hugging a tree, for as long as you can. “Just Breathe” has a very good description of how you adopt the tree pose:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width, and parallel. Bend your knees just slightly (feeling the backs of the knees as soft and hollow), allowing your weight to sink fully into your feet at the bubbling well – the hollow spot center and just below the upper pad area, legs and pelvis are relaxed. Gently roll the knees out a bit without moving the feet. This will tend to lift the arch. Don’t allow the big toes to lose contact with the floor. Then float your hands and elbows up to the level of your heart – elbows lower than wrists, palms facing your torso, creating a circle with your arms, with four or five inches between the gently extended fingers of your right & left hands – just as though you were indeed hugging a tree. Sink the shoulders down. And then imagine that you are hugging that tree, and as you hug the tree you’re also becoming a tree: feel your roots descending, sap being drawn upward through the center of your torso, your arms & legs lengthening, your crown of your head softening to receive sunlight and the energy of the sky from above you. Use inhalation to expand body and exhalation to release unnecessary tension down into the ground using the bones as conduits. Continue to feel your limbs energize, your spine elongate and your muscles relax into the position. Hold for some time.

Cultivate compassion

Developing our compassion has been shown to increase positive states of mind, reduce the onslaught of negative thoughts and improve the quality of our relationships. Brain scans of those who have practiced compassion meditation (also known as loving-kindness meditation or metta-bhavna) for years, show that they are some of the happiest people in the world! More compassion means more kindness towards ourselves and others, and less difference between what we wish ourselves and what we wish for others. Imagine taking a few minutes to silently wish ourselves well…and then wishing others the same…try it and see the shift in your state of being. Try one of our “Smile” tracks from our guided meditations here and see how you feel.

Draw it

Research is increasingly pointing to the insight that drawing and other forms of art can be a form of self-care: to release stress and anxiety, help us integrate negative emotions, and let creativity flow. Take a pen and some paper and 10 minutes to yourself – and draw, whatever comes to mind. Remember, no one is looking and no one is judging – this is just for you. See where your pens and pencils take you! After 10 minutes, you will feel a shift.

In Conclusion

There are many ways to shift our state. You don’t need hours, nor any special props. As we’ve shown, in just 10 minutes you can shift your state when you need to. Find some space for yourself and try them, we’d love to know how you feel!

Photo credits (from the top):

Refargotohp, Jess Loiterton, Mattheus Bertelli, Tamba Budiarsana, Jai Dudega, Unknown, Sunguk Kim