Meditation....You DON'T Suck at it & You DO Have Time
In my last blog post, find it here, I discussed the benefits of having a morning routine. My morning routine, which consists of waking up 45 minutes before my kids, meditating, drinking a smoothie, and centering my brain by quickly reviewing my to-do list for the day, is simple but has been life-changing.
This article will focus on meditation, which has completely changed the way I react to situations.
I have always been a classic overthinker. If I’m being completely honest with you, I’ve pretty much driven myself crazy for a large part of my life because I simply could not settle down up there.
It’s pretty exhausting and somewhat debilitating.
I used to suffer from an undercurrent of anxiety that occasionally led to full-on panic attacks. It kept me from really enjoying all the things that I was blessed to have.
A few years ago, as I was completing my yoga teacher training, which I credit for the beginning of this life change, I stumbled upon a book called 10% Happier by Dan Harris.
It explains meditation in a simplified way. Basically, it describes Dan’s own journey to meditation after he suffered an on-air panic attack at his job as an ABC news anchor.
After reading the book, I decided to try meditation. I stuck with it for a while but bailed after a few weeks.
Last fall, I had a serious revelation when it actually hit me that my oldest son would be graduating from high school and moving out of our house. It occurred to me that all the extraneous crap that was rushing around in my brain was taking my time and energy away from my family...the most important people in my life, who, by the way, are not guaranteed to be there forever.
I gave meditation another try.
Now, I meditate every single morning and even became certified to teach it. I just wake up, head to the couch with my headphones, pick a guided meditation from one of my apps and sit for 10-15 minutes.
Easy Peasy and I actually look forward to it every day.
I will never fully be able to express how much it has changed my life, but I sure will try, so that maybe you’ll try it too.
I already know what you’re thinking….. I Suck at It. And/or, I don’t have time.
- First of all, there is no competition in meditation, so you don't suck at it. I know you think you suck at it because you can't stop your thoughts. Of course, you can’t stop your thoughts...that’s impossible. Our brains cannot stop thinking. That would be like telling your heart to stop beating. What a relief, huh? That’s not what meditation is. It’s noticing your thoughts, then coming back to the present moment.
- Tough love here… you do have time. I meditate for 10-15 minutes a day. Next time you get your screen time notification, you’ll see that you DO have 10-15 minutes to devote to your well being.
Is Meditation Legit?
The main benefit I have seen since I have been meditating daily for over a year is that I now process situations before reacting, whereas before I would react first, usually in an “it’s the end of the world, let’s freak out” manner.
Then after losing my mind for days/weeks/months, I would finally process the situation and realize (embarrassingly so) that it was no big deal.
OR it was a big deal which made me flip out even more.
Now, when I am faced with a situation, I notice it, process it, then react. That's not to say I react like a robot with no emotions.
I just work through my emotions in a more dignified way rather than reacting first.
All the racing thoughts that used to incessantly run through my head are now less obnoxious. They still rear their ugly heads from time to time, but now my brain handles them rather than the thoughts handling, errr manhandling my life.
So, What Will It Do For Me?
Overall, I am calmer, less anxious, less stressed, more focused, and happier since I started meditating regularly, which makes perfect sense considering the science shows that the brain centers that control all of these areas are positively affected by regular meditation practice.
I can’t recommend it enough if you would like to feel less stressed (ahhh, who wouldn't?!).
It’s also super effective in kids. Sadly, we all know how stressed kids are today. Check out this testimony from a friend who started using mediation with her 3-year-old after attending my session on self-care for entrepreneurs.
- On a daily basis, I work from 9 am-5 pm in a demanding career, put on my mom hat from 5 pm-9 pm and then I work on my side business from 9 pm-12 am. Any deviation to that schedule would cause me to fall behind. My 3-yr old son was struggling to get to sleep, so it was putting me at risk for not completing the work for my side business. I remembered that Emily had suggested guided meditations during her session, so I found one that I really liked on Youtube (Kenneth Sores) and started playing it for my son at his bedtime. So now, between 8:30 pm- 9:00 pm, we share this time together to meditate. It helps my son fall asleep and it helps me decompress (or even get inspired) before I tackle my side business.
Friend, you deserve to feel good. You don’t have to be in a constant state of fight or flight.
But, only you can change this. Meditation is a simple yet effective way to settle our brains and create a more peaceful life.
I know you can do it. You're worth it.
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