I HOPE BY NOW YOU’VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY to read the message I shared about my Daily Gratitude Practice and how it contributed to the transformation of my practice and my life. If you didn’t receive it or can’t find it, you can go here to read it now.
Today, though, I want to talk about meditation. For the longest time, I thought “Meditation? Nah, that’s not for me.” You know why? Because I didn’t think I could sit still that long in one spot. Plus, I didn’t really understand the point.
And then I started reading about how meditation actually, physically changes the brain, and, in particular, how it reduces anxiety. Since I’ve been diagnosed with “generalize anxiety disorder” and depression, I thought it was worth it to give mediation another shot.
At first, I used an app called Buddhify to help me learn how to meditate. Buddhify is great because it has meditations for all different situations and circumstances, like for when you can’t sleep, or when you need a quick break from work, or when you are struggling with food. It also has meditations of different lengths.
However, I soon discovered Headspace and fell in love. Headspace, and it’s lovable former monk and narrator, Andy, actually taught me how to meditate. Beginner meditations are only 10 minutes long, and Andy tells you exactly what to do and how to do it. It really does not get any easier. Andy also teaches you about meditation–how it works and what is going on in your brain when you meditate and after.
I soon came to understand that meditation is not about NOT having any thoughts. It’s about learning how to let thoughts go by without chasing after them and continuing to obsess over them. It’s about learning how to focus your mind so your brain can rest–truly rest–for at least a brief period of time. It also helps you improve your ability to focus.
Once you learn how to meditate with the help of some really cool apps like the ones I’ve mentioned (and I’m sure there are many others), you can begin to meditate with just relaxing sounds, music, or even silence. The really wonderful moment is when you find yourself in a state of anxiety and you realize you now have the tools you need to calm your mind and self-soothe no matter where you are and what is going on around you.
I try to meditate every day. My preference is to make it a part of my morning ritual. Some mornings that happens and some not. I find, though, on days I start my mornings off with just 15 minutes of meditation, everything goes a little smoother the rest of the day. When you are in a calmer state of mind, it is much easier for you to remain in control of your emotions even when others around you are out of control.
I’m nowhere near the expert in meditation but, based on the results I’ve already seen, it’s a practice I plan to continue for a long time. I’m excited about the discoveries ahead on my journey. I encourage you to join me and, as always, I invite you to share your experience.