I always wanted to meditate. I’d say it, and say it. I’d tell myself I needed to meditate, but I never really did. I occasionally would try, but it never became a true habit, like I had wanted it to be. I’d get fidgety as I sat there legs-crossed, back-straight, and wouldn’t even last the whole 5-10 minutes I set for myself. In reality, I could have been making it more of a priority than I did, because I knew it would benefit my health and mind.
So for years I have told myself that I wanted to meditate.
Sometime this summer I started waking up with an anxious feeling on MOST mornings, it was awful. What I will say from this experience, is that I learned to always trust my gut. Sometimes our bodies know what’s best for us or that a decision is wrong or right before we can come to that realization on our own. But at this time, I kept putting my gut feeling aside, and waking up feeling SO anxious- Racing heart, excessive worry...I knew this wasn’t healthy and that I needed to find a natural solution to this, and that’s when I stumbled upon the app Headspace. An app dedicated to helping people meditate and truly sticking to it- Where was this app years back when I originally told myself I needed to get on the meditation kick?! It would have undoubtedly helped.
And I know this because TODAY I can proudly say that meditation is a daily (sometimes twice daily) part of my life that I have finally been able to incorporate into my holistic lifestyle. I credit a lot of the 5 solid months I have meditated to this app. The Headspace intro guided meditation series really helps to get you in the right head space (hence the app's name right?!), and you can even set meditation reminders for yourself to help you stick to it. Probably after 2 weeks of meditation (2 x daily) using Headspace the morning anxiety I had been experiencing started to lesson, and when I finally listened to what my gut instinct was telling me and took action? It vanished. Quite fascinating, right?!
Aside from the app, it’s the feeling meditation has brought me that has also kept me going and made me a strong believer in doing this practice on a regular basis. What is so beautiful is meditating can relatively be done anywhere- all you need is yourself, a quiet space, 5-20 minutes, and possibly an app for guidance, and it is there for YOU in times of need. Meditation comes with a long list of scientific evidence supporting the vast benefits of it. For myself, I can say my anxiety has cleared, I am able to live more in the present, get a rush of creativity after meditating, can think more clearly, and even feel happier.
Here is a long list of reasons why meditation may be the answer for you (or everyone!):
·Reduces stress and anxiety
·Improves mood and well-being
·Wakes up your unconscious mind
·Decreases inflammation (believed to be the cause of most diseases)
·Increases grey matter in brain- This is involved in learning, memory, having a sense of self and perspective, and regulating emotions
·Helps you handle stress better
·Lowers blood pressure
·Lowers risk of Alzheimer’s
·Helps you process information and make better decisions
·Shown to help reduce alcohol and drug abuse
·Boosts your immunity
As you can see, meditation has a variety of health benefits. To set the tone for meditating, designate a quiet and comfy space in your home- You may even want to create a meditation corner with some pillows, and inspiring images or quotes attached to the wall corner. I sometimes light some sage before I meditate to clear the space around me and often put some essential oil on pre-meditation and draw a tarot card after meditating for some clarity and guidance around my day. Have fun with this practice and customize it to make it YOURS.
And if you can relate to my initial story of longing to regularly meditate, I encourage you to download Headspace TODAY- or any similar meditation app out there (this is not sponsored, I truly love Headspace and how it’s impacted my life). I also LOVE going to meditation classes, something about having a teacher guide you through a meditation is very helpful. You may find you prefer silent meditation or guided meditation may be more of your thing. Play around with these options and see what works for you. Meditate as often as you can, but know that it’s OKAY to skip a day, a few days, a week….Meditation will always be there for you. Once you do make it a habit, it definitely becomes easier to do and the less you will want to skip it. Today, I SO look forward to my meditation time during my days. Remember, health includes nurturing our mind and thoughts too and I can’t think of any better way to do this than through meditation.
Self-care is a topic that has started to take center-stage in the wellness scene. People are starting to catch on to the belief that before they can care for others, they must first take care of their own well-being. Running ourselves to the ground trying to help others, while forgoing our own health and personal needs, will eventually leave us feeling drained, tired, and even sick.
If you haven’t yet, perhaps it is time to implement a self-care routine in your own life. Self-care can be implemented throughout your day, or you can designate a specific time each day, either in the mornings or evenings, where you solely focus on YOU. Include self-care activities that resonate with you. We all have things we say “We would love to do, if only we had the time,” perhaps those may be good areas to focus on. When we take care of ourselves, it allows us to be able to give more to others. Self-care routines can also help to bring us into the present moment allowing us a chance to slow down, and just be.
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