Happy National Meditation month! If there is something I should try and be better about its setting aside time for meditation and/or mindfulness. May sounds like the perfect time to try and implement some meditation into my life. I am going to challenge you and myself to meditate for a minimum of 1 minute every day for the rest of the month. I will be posting to my story on Instagram @geekoutyourworkout. Join my challenge by tagging @geekoutyourworkout in your photo and #MeditationMay for the rest of the month. I wonder if the Avengers ever took time to meditate after Thanos’ infamous snap?
Like many of you I have many interests that relate to my work and what I do on my off days.. I tend to juggle a lot at once especially when it comes to work and play. I often feel like my mind is going a mile a minute or that I am just too exhausted to keep up with what is going on. With one of my jobs, I find that I am on call a majority of the month, which can create a great deal of anxiety and stress. Yet with the uncertainty of another job I find myself overthinking possibilities. With the physical demands of my workouts I find that my thoughts are the most “creative and steam-lined” during a long run. I have found that taking a few minutes to breathe has helped me feel more calm, so I can only imagine what doing it on a regular basis with a clear intention could do for the “monkey chatter” in my brain, along with my stress and anxiety levels. I am challenging myself incorporate meditation into my daily routine for the month! Follow my instagram story or posts to see how I am doing.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind on one point, object, thought or activity. The clearing and calming of the mind from the so called “monkey chatter”.
Why is it called “practicing meditation”?
It is called practicing meditation because focusing the mind and being non judgmental of our thoughts is something that most of us need practice with.
What are the benefits of practicing meditation?
I have read and been told meditation has the ability to…
-Help you de-stress.
-Increase energy levels.
-Provide a sense of calm or balance.
-Increase blood flow and decrease the heart rate.
-Reduce pain and enhance the body’s immune system.
Where can I practice meditation?
Anywhere! The ideal place is a some place comfortable and quiet, but let’s be honest, many of us need meditation because we do not have a lot of stillness or quiet in our lives.
I often find myself in strange cities, airports and destinations. Finding a quiet place will probably be one of my struggles. However when at home I can use my bedroom, living room or even front yard. If I find a beautiful location like a beach or park I will try and meditate there. I can also visit a local yoga, pilates or meditation studio. I find a lot of my classes on Class Pass or Mindbody.
When can I practice meditation?
Anytime, but when you are just starting out schedule it. When starting something like a fitness program or meditation preactice, it is important to set aside time for it in your schedule. I have been reading most people recommend you meditate first thing in the morning as part of your daily morning routine to clear your mind for the day. Then again last thing at night as part of your daily nightly routine. If this sounds like it would work for you then go ahead and put it in your Superhero calendar!
I am not sure that type of schedule will actually work for me. I find that I do not always get the amount of sleep I need to feel rested, so I sleep until the minute I need to get up and get ready for whatever is on my schedule. Just thinking about setting my alarm even 5 minutes earlier for anything causes my shoulders to tense and my teeth to grit. I think it will be best for me to schedule this into the time I return “home”. I often feel like this is the time I sit sit down to “decompress” but instead of turning to my computer or social media I will try to be mindful of practicing meditation. I will also schedule it into my nightly routine right before bed.
What do I need to meditate?
Yourself! Honestly, you don’t need any special equipment. I will probably be using soothing music on my phone to help me block out the sounds of the world around me, or a meditation app that can lead me through different meditation techniques. Since I am new to meditation I have a lot to learn.
How do I meditate?
There are many types of meditation. Mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, spiritual meditation, focused meditation and guided meditation.Thankfully there is no wrong or right way to meditate, the key is to just start.
Since I am a beginner I plan to find guided meditations on youtube and though apps. The apps that have been recommended to me, and I will be tring for the month are:
-The Mindfulness App– this meditation app includes a five-day guided meditation practice, reminders for when it’s time to relax, and other offers based on individual meditation habits.
-Headspace– includes ten exercises geared toward beginners that can help you learn more about meditation as well as applying it to your life. (https://www.headspace.com/)
-Calm– offers a wide range of guided meditations and sleep stories to help you fall asleep. (https://www.calm.com/)
-Smiling Mind- free and with a variety of guided meditations for kids and adults. (https://www.smilingmind.com.au/)
-Insight Timer- (https://insighttimer.com/)
Who can practice meditation?
Anyone! Involve those around you to take a moment to breath. Especially if you are listening to an app or music, ask those around you to join you. Kids love to mimic those that they look up to so walk them through the steps that you are taking, and have them do it with you. I recently had a great experience when I invited a group of 6 women to listen to a guided meditation with me.
These are the steps that I will follow when practicing.
- Find a comfortable space.
- Couch, bed, yoga mat or comfortable chair.
- Schedule a time.
- Returning home for the day
- Before bed
- When I find myself feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.
- Decide what type of meditation you will do.
- I will try different types of meditation by using apps on my phone until I find one that I like.
- Grab what I need.
- Something to sit on, or lean against
- My headphones.
What are your recommendations for practicing meditation and mindfulness? Let me know!
Want to join me in trying meditation for the Month? Follow my journey on Instagram at @GeekoutYourWorkout . We would love to share in your May meditation journey, tag @GeekoutYourWorkout and #MeditationMay in your meditation posts and stories for us to share.
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