Speeding ticket. Traffic jam. Coworker frustration. Misunderstandings. Bills. Screaming children. Stubbed toes.
Feel that tension building in your shoulders?
Deeeeeeep inhale for 7 seconds.
Hold for 7 seconds.
Exhale through the mouth for 7 seconds.
Meditation can be intimidating, it can be frustrating, and I’ve noticed that for the 20 something crew, it is almost taboo.
Meditation is what YOU make it. It is not a right or wrong type of practice. It does not require an app, or guide (although either/both can be very helpful, especially when you’re getting started). It is simply allowing yourself to breathe, to be completely present in a moment.
It’s too easy today with how available we are all required to be to just get caught up in doing. From work outs, to the office, to happy hours, to bed. From likes, to check ins, to emails, to status updates. We get so caught up in doing, that we forget to really take in this incredible life we GET to lead. We forget to be in awe of this opportunity to be on this Earth, living our amazing life.
This is where meditation comes in. For me, meditation helps me stay grounded in who I want to be. Reminding me to stay focused on what is REALLY important, not in the petty things your mind can get caught on in a day. Reminding me how amazing just breathing really is. Reminding me to find gratitude in the simple act of just living, breathing, being.
Since starting my meditation practice I’ve noticed a couple of major changes in my personality, and lifestyle:
- I irritate much less easily. I am a very passionate person, which can be both a good and bad thing. Before, the slightest inconvenience (see beginning of post) had the potential to REALLY get under my skin, and completely throw my positive mindset.
- It is much more difficult to ruffle my feathers today. An off-putting or self-doubt inducing comment no longer causes me to spiral into a down day.
- I am calmer when a real life frustration, sadness, or other off-putting emotional situation comes into my life.
- I am happier.
…just to name a few. Through my research, and in conversing with like-minded individuals, I’ve heard countless other benefits from meditation.
Quick disclaimer here: you can NOT only meditate on the bad days and expect these results. This is a lifestyle shift, not a quick fix. A daily practice will prepare you to find the good in every day, good and bad alike. I know this from personal experience. Set yourself up for success by developing the habit on good days, as meditation on a bad day takes much more focus…trust me.
My question to you is – why not try?
I initially chose the app, Calm, as my meditation guide. Try their Intro to Calm series to wet your whistle. I recently discovered the Simple Habit app as well, it is equally as good.
Need more convincing? Check out the book, 10% Happier by Dan Harris. It got me started on my meditation journey. I would quote the book, but my copy is almost completely underlined, and I couldn’t pick just one excerpt :). It starts a bit slow, but do yourself a favor, pick it up, and stick with it.
Challenge yourself to download one (or both) apps, pick one of the three to five minute meditations, and get outside that comfort zone this weekend.
Hey, you might even find yourself closing your eyes, breathing in, breathing out, and…. DOING THE DAMN THING.
Let me know how it goes…