No matter how you slice it, I’m a high-strung person. Always have been, even as a child, and I probably always will be (fortunately for me, Bazooka appears to share that trait—parenting is going to be fun stuff).
Tension is my middle name (or may as well be), and relaxing is often a struggle.
Relaxing! That should be the simplest thing in the world, and for most people, it probably is.
Nevertheless, true relaxation is difficult for me. My mind is always spinning and my hands are always fidgeting, but I realize living in a constant state of anticipation and hypervigilance isn’t exactly the best thing.
Hence why, in an effort to be more present and to experience more serenity in my life, I’ve begun to meditate.
Meditation is not something I’ve perfected, but even in a couple weeks, I feel like I’ve made some progress.
Some Thoughts On Meditation
Being completely honest, I thought the idea of meditation was a little too hippy-dippy, even for somebody who values most holistic approaches to wellness like I do.
I mean, who has time to sit cross-legged on the floor for 30+ minutes, right?
But, as I’ve learned, meditation doesn’t require a lot of time. Nor does it require sitting cross-legged on the floor in utter silence, save for the repetitive chant of “om.”
In fact, it’s really easy to work daily meditation into your normal workday and routine, and I swear it has helped me regroup during challenging moments at work and at home.
Meditating has allowed me to practice responding to stressful and emotionally-taxing stimuli as opposed to reacting in my typical defensive, “fight or flight” mode.
My Favorite Meditation Aids
My therapist is big into my mindfulness, so when she suggested incorporating daily meditation into my life, I was on board.
The anglophile in me loves the British accent on Headspace, but apart from a few sample meditations, this app requires a $7.95 monthly subscription. No bueno—at least not right now.
Calm is a free app, but it, too, requires in-app purchases.
That left Buddhify, which costs $4.95, but includes dozens of unique meditations.
While I’ve done a few “traditional” assisted meditations (e.g., the silent, still ones), I’ve really taken to walking meditations.
You all know by now I love my daily park walks, so for me, this is killing two birds (err, gently and mindfully caressing two birds?) with one stone.
Why I Love Walking Meditation
Even though most assisted meditations are short (some are 2-5 minutes, others I’ve come across are 10-12), I still find it challenging to truly sit still and quietly to take part in them.
But with walking meditations, which sound paradoxical, I can get my daily steps and focus on calming myself and being present in the moment.
Walking meditations encourage the practitioner to pay close attention to their movements and surroundings, yet at the same time, they encourage stillness and focus among those outside stimuli.
Almost every day last week, I took short (5 to 12 minute) walking meditation during my lunch break, and I truly noticed a difference in my mood and tension levels. The meditations encouraged me to physically slow down (I’m a fast walker!), which resulted in my slowing down mentally and emotionally.
I had some stressful mornings (hello road rage!)—which led me to some moodiness and snippiness—but my afternoons went so much more smoothly.
I’m actually looking forward to discussing the effects of meditations at my next session, and I want to try and incorporate more traditional meditation into my mornings or evenings.Daily #meditation: it’s not just for hippies! #anxiety #mentalhealth @buddhify Click To Tweet
[linking up with Amanda for thinking out loud]
So tell me…
- Do you meditate?
- If so, how has regular meditation affected your life?
- Do you have any go-to apps or podcasts for free (or affordable) assisted meditation?