Here’s a secret. Sometimes, I like to go into my bedroom or closet, shut the door and sit in…total darkness. No, I’m not sad or upset – but actually the opposite. Meditation has become my way to de-stress.
Alright, so I may have lost you with the whole “meditation thing” because maybe you think it’s all smoke and mirrors. To be honest, at one point I did too. I could not figure out how sitting still and thinking of “nothing” could possibly help you become a better person.
Well, it’s true. It really does work (with time), and to be honest, it’s much more difficult than you think.
When was the last time you sat in a room with no distractions? No cellphone, no TV, no books, no other people. It’s hard to do it – just do nothing. Now, think of doing “nothing” with your eyes closed. It’s a whole new ballgame because you now have absolutely nothing to do – nothing to look at.
Listen to more on meditation in this week’s episode of Curly Conversations Podcast:
How I started my meditation practice
There’s a website I’m a huge fan of called mindbodygreen. They have everything from healthy lifestyle articles, to recipes to exercise routines. Anyway, this was where I came across my first meditation article. It was about a woman who had made time for meditation every day for a month. This is where I knew she was talking smoke and mirrors.
The crazy part was, I kept coming across articles like the previous one. People made cases for getting rid of their anxiety, de-stressing after a long day, lowering their blood pressure and getting to know themselves more.
So, I wanted to try it
The first time I tried to meditate for just 5 minutes, I realized how busy my brain is. I couldn’t focus on sitting in silence. All I could think about was what I was going to eat next, what I forgot to do yesterday and how could I squeeze that in for today. This was also the reason why it took me a while to get to sleep. My brain never got a chance to “turn off” during the day.
Right then, I knew this was something I secretly wanted to master. It was somewhat of a challenge for me to want to learn how to meditate better.
And success was found…
I learned over time that there were different forms of meditation. The practice where you sit in total silence, some where you chant mantras and others where you’re guided by another person’s voice or music.
The latter is where I found success. I’m a frequent Spotify listener and came across the Meditation Minis Podcast. It has changed my life. Chel, who produces the short episodes – we’re talking less than 15 minutes – has the most calming voice that really helps me disconnect. During the 10 to 15 minutes, I truly forget about everything I have to do. It’s like I’ve been transported to my happy place.
Once it’s over, I’m so much more refreshed and ready to tackle what’s ahead.
Maybe this type of meditation isn’t for you, but the best thing is, there are other types to try. I think everyone deserves to give their mind a break.
I now try to include short guided meditation into my routine 2 to 3 times per week. Here are the changes I’ve noticed:
- Fall asleep a lot faster
- Not as stressed throughout the day
- Mind is much clearer
- More self-aware
At the end of the day, meditation is all about having “me time” where I can disconnect from the world for a few minutes.
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