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January Experiment: Meditation

Here we are, a week into 2021 and the optimism and hope of a New Year is starting to fade a little bit as we get back into the grind of daily life. I think it is as good a time as any to start a little experiment. Do you have 2-20 minutes a day to join me?

At this point in our lives, we have all heard about that crazy little thing called meditation. Maybe we have even dipped our toe in the water a little bit. Tried it out, but felt a little weird and maybe you were not quite sure you were doing it right. What is the big deal with this whole sitting still and being quiet thing? What does it do for us? How do we even sit still? I know I have a hard time sitting still when there is SO MUCH STUFF TO DO… ALL THE TIME!! But, I think that is the whole idea. Creating the time and space to give yourself a breather from everything else going on. Has anyone else realized that we don’t give our brains and bodies very much time off?

Here are the biggest benefits of meditation

  • Creates a sense of calm and peace
  • Gain a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Use as a skill to manage stress
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Connect to your body
  • Reduce negative emotions
  • Increase imagination and creativity
  • Increase patience and tolerance
  • May help manage symptoms for health conditions (anxiety, asthma, cancer, depression, high blood pressure, IBS, headaches, sleep problems)

How to Meditate

  • Make a plan. Block off the amount of time you need in your schedule and actually mark it on your calendar. Do you want to do it first thing in the morning when it is quiet, in the middle of the day when you need a break, or at the end of a long day? There is no right answer, just whatever works best for you.
  • Find a quiet area without any distractions and sit up comfortably. This could be sitting comfortably in bed, on a cozy chair, or on a cushion on the floor.
  • Start by closing your eyes and bringing your attention to your breath. Do not try to control your breath though, just breathe normally. Notice the way your body moves when you inhale and exhale. Pay attention to how the air feels as it enters and exits your body. Notice how you feel in the present moment. All without judgement, just acknowledgement.
  • YOUR MIND IS GOING TO WANDER and that is perfectly okay and normal. Simply acknowledge the wandering thoughts, pause, and refocus on your breath.
  • You can also use a guided meditation to help as you learn to meditate. There are great apps like Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, and Oak.

So, LET’S DO IT! I’m going to commit to meditating every day for the rest of January. Its a little experiment. There is no pressure and no resolutions. I’m just going to do it every day for the rest of the month and see if I feel any differently. If you are along for the ride, comment or send me a message so we can keep in touch and keep each other accountable. Here is to 2021, with maybe a bit more patience and a little less stress… we shall see!

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