I recently took up a near-daily practice of meditating and, boy, does it make a difference. Tuning everything out for a few moments flips the reset and helps me be more calm throughout the day. Less things bother me or worry me, and I respond better to those stressors. I control my energy and to whom I give it, which is a very powerful accomplishment.
I am a person that gives energy and time to help others very freely, but oftentimes forgets to carve out time for self-care. Meditation gives me a few precious moments of peace and quiet, away from electronics, away from people, and away from my own anxious thoughts.
Speaking of anxious thoughts, meditation’s whole goal is bringing awareness to your own thinking and stop the cycle of hateful self-talk. Meditation forces us to acknowledge our own thoughts and remove the ones that zap our energy or cause us unnecessary stress. You’re literally thinking about your own thinking.
Meditation is also about training your attention and focus so that you can be in the present moment, as opposed to worrying about what comes next. Mindful.org outlines how meditation can help us train our attention and gives a great description of a simple 2-minute meditation that you can do in your office or at home.
The Mindful.org staff also comments that we meditate for 5 reasons:
- Understand your pain
- improve focus
- lower stress
- connect better and deeper
- reduce daily brain chatter
Our thoughts go everywhere, past, present, futunre, sideways, backwards, forwards, all kinds of whacky places because we’re in a perpetual state of stress and comparison thanks to social media and the constant connectedness of technology. While being connected to loved ones is important, disconnecting from the constant barrage of negativity and ones who seemingly have it all is important for our wellbeing too.
Side Note: If you’re interested in disconnecting from social media and want to learn about it from others who have done it, please listen to this Wake Up Wednesday on FitTalk with Coach Luis. He interviews Sarah McRae, a personal trainer and CrossFit coach who actively disconnects from social media 1 day per week and asks about how its benefited her mental health. Note: I am NOT compensated for this ad and regularly promote Luis’ work because he is doing amazing things in the name of wellness.
This post is about meditation, though, and if you would like to include a meditation practice into your day, no matter how small, you can start with these.
Youtube has a TON of guided meditations for everything. Manifesting your soulmate, abundance, gratitude (are you still following my daily gratitudes?), and so much more. You can also search for meditation music to help you vibe out if you’re a little more advanced in your practice.
Guided meditations are perfect for beginners and they can really help you focus your attention because you’re force to listen to a person to enjoy the experience. I do these often.
Taken from the Mindful.org article, you can do this meditation in 2 minutes at your desk, at lunch, or even when you’re taking a bathroom break.
Get comfortable and prepare to sit still for a few minutes. After you stop reading this, you’re going to simply focus on your own natural inhaling and exhaling of breath.
Focus on your breath. Where do you feel your breath most? In your belly? In your nose? Try to keep your attention on your inhale and exhale.
Follow your breath for two minutes.“How to Meditate”- Mindful Staff
You can also set a timer and extend the 2-minute meditation to however long you want or for however long you have time.
There are tons of other types of meditations as well, like body scans to relieve tension, walking meditation to connect with nature, using Oms or other sounds to bring focus to certain areas and calm the body, and so many others. You just have to find the one that suits you the best.
What to do if your mind does Wander
Take note of how many times your mind starts to wander while you’re meditating. If you find yourself getting worked up, visualize a stop sign that blocks the thought from progressing further. You can use this handy visualization as a grounding technique as well if you feel anxiety coming on or to prevent losing yourself in a new situation or relationship.
If you recognize your mind wandering, thinking about slowly guiding it back to the center of the practice.
If you’re counting your breaths and you notice your mind wander, start over at one.
I hope that you incorporate a little bit of mindfulness into your everyday routine. It’s good for your emotional stability and maturity, helps manage stress, and helps you be joyful in the present moment.
Go in love and light.