There are so many benefits to meditating: decreased stress, decreased anxiety, lower blood pressure, more self-awareness, longer attention span, more positive self-image, better sleep, and decrease inflammation response to name a few.
With so many great benefits, you would think it would be a no brainer to meditate. However, for me, the preconceived notions I had about meditating made it seem so daunting. After looking into it more and finding the Headspace app, I realized how wrong I was.
What I got wrong:
I need to mediate for 30-60 minutes a day.This is far from the truth. Just like you wouldn’t go into the gym for the first time and start squatting with 100lbs, you wouldn’t start off meditating for 30 minutes. And, you may never need to get to 30 minutes. It’s more important to be consistent with a shorter amount of time than do longer sessions infrequently. Headspace offers meditations as short as three minutes. I found this to be such a great starting point. I have since worked up to 10 minutes, which I have found to be the perfect amount of time for me.
I need to sit on the floor with my legs crossed sitting up tall.Sit like that for 30 minutes? Nope! Not for me. I was thrilled when I learned you could sit in a chair and be comfortable. You can see I have my legs crossed in the picture, but that’s just becasue I find it more comfortable. While it is optimal to do sitting, I have also meditated lying down and have still found it to be beneficial for me.
If I think about anything while I am meditating, that session is ruined. I am so glad I was wrong about this one. I love the way Headspace explains how to handle thoughts that pop in your mind while meditating. Picture you are sitting on a bench and you just watch your thoughts pass by.
It should be done first thing in the morning. Meditation can be done at any point in the day. It’s best to find what works for you. I like doing it before bed as it helps to calm my mind. It’s also great to do transitioning from work to family/relaxation time.
According to Headspace “meditation is both a skill and an experience- a formal exercise to cultivate awareness and compassion.” The great thing is you don’t have to be a perfect meditator to start. You can show up as you are and work to improve the skill. I have completed 430 meditations to date and am by no means an expert, but I have gained a lot from my experience. I am able to be more aware of my emotions, sleep better, be more present, and am able to handle stress and anxiety better.
If you are looking for a place to start I personally love Headspace. (I’m not affiliated with Headspace or get any compensation from them.) If you go to their website there is are many atricles that go more in depth with the benefits of meditation and tips to getting started. There are so many meditation apps out there too, so if you don’t like Headspace, try a different one. Calm is another one a lot of people like. It’s important to find one that works for you!