I know what you’re thinking, because that’s what I was thinking too: hippies sitting on the floor, in ragged jeans and faded Grateful Dead tie-dyed tee shirts, unbrushed hair. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
I’ve been thinking about meditation a lot lately. Partly because it’s been plastered on almost every wellness site and platform, and partly because I’ve been dealing with an exorbitant amount of stress and anxiety lately.
I’ve always had some degree of anxiety. I’m the classic type A, overachieving first born, who allows nonexistent scenarios, conversations and events to run rampant in my mind. I have a difficult time relaxing and letting go of emotions. So much so that I’ve had to make some significant changes to my lifestyle to disconnect from stresses that were having a huge negative affect on my home life.
Since I was also battling extreme fatigue, I had started a routine of ‘quiet time’ – which, for some, might mean a nap, but since I never actually fall asleep, I call it quiet time. It was helping a great deal, but then I started reading about meditation and became intrigued.
For me, the difficulty originates from the how and where. Luckily, since meditation is such a personal endeavor, it doesn’t matter. As long as you are engaging in mindful quiet, without distraction, it can be done anywhere, and your focus can be anything (except your to-do list). I’ve found the easiest thing to focus on, that also keeps distractions away, is my breathing. There are some tips for getting started here and here.
One of things I’ve done, that has helped, is to download a couple of meditation apps. There are many out there, but I started with a free app, Insight Timer. I like that it has guided meditation practice, the soothing voice of the guide really helps me relax and disconnect from distractions in my mind, and they are helpful in bringing you back to your focus when you do wander. A couple of other helpful apps are The Mindfulness App and Mindfulness Daily. I’m still playing around to see what works for me.
But one thing is for certain: the goal of any relaxation practice is to bring you back to the present and direct you to clear your mind of the clutter that is contributing to our daily stress and anxiety. I’m working hard toward this goal, and I can feel that in the last couple of weeks I’m definitely more relaxed, and more in tune with those around me.
What do you think? Something you’d try? Or just too….out there?
image via unsplash