Meditation is defined as the act of engaging “in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of awareness.” And, it is one of the most beneficial (and free) tools you can use to create positive change in your life. I know, that sounds like a lofty goal, but look at the evidence below from the Mayo Clinic alone:
“The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance”
“Meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches”
Those two lists of benefits are pretty convincing and I can say from personal experience, meditation has helped me make improvements from both lists. Now I know we’ve all heard these promises before, but actually making this a part of your day is the real struggle. Today I’m here to offer some suggestions for you to start meditating consistently…
- Start Small: The act of sitting still and focusing on your breath can be intimidating for most, so I encourage you to start small. Maybe you only meditate for 3 minutes the 3 days and add 1 minute each day until you get to 10 minutes. Slowly adding time will make the practice easier versus jumping right in at 10 minutes.
- Make It A Habit: Is there something you do every day? (I hope at least brushing your teeth comes to mind here! Haha) If so, why not add a meditation practice right after that already established daily habit! For me, I brush my teeth, make my warm lemon water, put dishes away, do some stretches and easy exercise, and then right before I start my work for the morning, I meditate. I never have to remember now that this is a habit!
- Download a Meditation App: Calm is my personal favorite, but Headspace, Insight Timer, and 10% Happier are all popular favorites that you can try for free. Download one today and give it a try. If you don’t like it, try the next one or….
- Find a Guided Meditation: I tend to gravitate towards meditations where someone else guides me and both YouTube and Spotify are FILLED with free guided meditations. Poke around and get as specific as you’d like. For example, here are all the YouTube results for “3 minute meditations” to get you started.
- Experiment: Meditation is a very personal practice, which means you will have personal preferences. Experiment with narrators, types of meditation, lengths, and topics of focus (such as sleep, habits, emotions, etc.) in order to find what works best for you.
Meditation is the tool that taught me how to catch unwanted thoughts or actions that creep into the day. Whether it’s negative self-talk, getting caught up in social media, or mindless eating, meditation is the tool that showed me how to become aware of these negative behaviors and either stop them in their tracks or eliminate them before they happen.
So, what’s stopping you? Go ahead and try a 3 minute meditation right now!
We’ll be taking a break next week to celebrate Memorial Day, get the summer started, and on a personal note—to get my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law married!
BUT, before then, be sure to subscribe to With Cheryl because I’ll be sharing a special SUBSCRIBER ONLY BONUS and announcing what I’ve been working on for you in my next email. Believe me, you won’t want to miss it!