Meditation has become more integrated into our current society. It is not all that uncommon to hear the word, how it has helped people, and how they have made it a part of their daily lives. But if you haven’t tried it or have tried and couldn’t get your mind to settle down, you may have already counted it out as unattainable. I’m here to try to convince you why you should give it a go.
A lot of this world promotes being outside of yourself and gives you plenty of resources to do so- endless tv shows, social media, alcohol, drugs, etc. only to bait and hook you and your desires for more and more product consumption. And when it becomes socially acceptable to be mindlessly consumed by them, the only solution to become mindFUL. All of what you’re looking for is already present within you.
Learning how to cultivate peace and tranquility from within is something that takes time. It’s about learning how to step back and become aware of your thoughts rather than getting caught up in the story behind them. Adding a meditation regimen to your day is one of the most rewarding things you can do- I can personally attest to this.
Some back story: My mind always lived in the future. I was always thinking about what was going to happen next- next week, next month, next year. It got to the point where I didn’t even care to make friends because I didn’t plan on staying where I was. Life was passing on, but I was still just waiting for my “plan” to come to fruition. What happens when you live like that is you never appreciate what is right in front of you or how your actions and words affect others. Living with a future mindset also riddles you with anxiety since you’re always anticipating something. It’s not fun.
I had heard of meditation before, but it always seemed a little too “out there” for me. I was shy about it and felt self-conscious even trying to begin. When I became more dedicated to living a life of wellness, that was when I gave it a shot. I had already integrated things I loved to do into my day-to-day by starting with just 5 minutes. As “corpse pose” helps your body integrate everything you have done in your yoga practice, I decided to use meditation to integrate everything I do in the morning before I went into the world.
Through meditating, I have gained an awareness of my thoughts, actions, and interactions with all things around me. I learned (and am still learning) to take things day by day and not live in the next moment before it even happens. My anxiety has decreased significantly and I am aware of the things that trigger it which helps to prevent any attacks.
If you don’t believe me, believe science! Here are a few great articles about what meditation can do for you:
- Mindful.org’s “The Science of Meditation”
- Psychology Today’s “The Science of Meditation” (yes, both articles have the same title)
- Greater Good Magazine’s “The State of Mindfulness Science”.
I am sure that after all of that riveting information, you have been inspired to try it yourself!
How do you begin? By making it easy for yourself! Start out by doing it 2-3 times a week, 5 minutes a day for at least 3 weeks. If you are thinking that is too much, think about what else you may do for 5 minutes every day already *ahem* scroll through social media perhaps? You are most certainly capable of taking 5 minutes to do something good for yourself. Heads up though, doing something mindlessly for that amount of time versus mindfully will feel different. It may feel like an eternity in the beginning. Mindfulness and awareness are skills to be acquired, but in the process, you will learn more about yourself and navigate through this world with eyes wide open.
Sidenote: Anyone can do it! Unlike the “Dictionary.com” definition precariously suggests, meditating isn’t solely attached to any religious practices.
Did you know meditation doesn’t even have to be sitting cross-legged in silence? There are guided meditations (my personal favorite), mudras, chanting, and moving meditations. Here are some free tools to get you started:
- Simple Habit: This app is my go-to after “Calm” became nearly subscription access only. Simple Habit is heading that way, BUT they still have free programs such as “Ease Your Fear and Anxiety”, “Foundations of Mindfulness”, and “Detox Your Thoughts”- and it is all guided. When a new program comes out, there is a free trial period. The great thing is that it will be available until it’s not- no payment required. Simple Habit also has an “On The Go” section where you choose what you are doing and the amount of time you have. And if you like pretty relaxing sounds, they have a “soundscape” section as well.
- Daily Mudras: This app has a library of different mudras (hand positions). It gives you some background on their uses and benefits. Each mudra is typically held between 10-15 minutes and there are several background sounds/music you can choose from. While these meditations are not guided, they provide an alternative from the traditional. They also send notifications for their short and sweet blog posts about healthy living.
As for moving meditations, I recommend Qi Gong and Yin Yoga with affirmations. Qi Gong focuses on breathing with intention as you release and guide energy in your body. Yin Yoga with affirmations focuses on static stretches while repeating a sentence over and over again while observing your inner reactions. Check out these YouTube channels and videos if you’re interested:
Qi Gong Channels: Yoqi Yoga and Qi Gong
Qi Gong Videos:
Yin Yoga Videos:
- Yin Root Chakra
- Yin Yoga with Affirmations for Self-Love & Healing
- Yin Yoga with Affirmations for Peace & Guidance
P.S If you caught the song reference in the title, check out my favorite rendition here.
As always, I wish you all the best and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out!
Love and light,
**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**