So it is to begin a meditation practice
Photo: Bagus Production (Shutterstock)
I’ll be doing that in the next few weeks Lifehacker Fitness Challenge by developing a healthy meditation routine for mental and physical wellbeing. The idea of meditation is actually quite stressful for me, so trying to clear my mind (which is always racing) has always been fearful. I’ve never actually been great at dealing with stress – even when traveling, I tend to give myself a full path of forced relaxation and thwart the purpose.
However, when I heard repeatedly that consistent meditation had benefits ranging from being more productive to reducing anxiety to improving physical health, I decided to directly address my stress by challenging myself for 30 days to try out.
Starting slowly reduced my initial anxiety
There’s zen, mantra, self-guided meditation and more, but finding a new routine has never been a problem for me. staying consistent and overcoming obstacles is. To combat my bad habits, I decided to use guided meditation as a starting point. I’ve downloaded Headspacewho was recommended by friends and currently has a miniseries on Netflix and bought a monthly membership for $ 12.99 per month after a seven day free trial.
I just wanted to start slowly three minutes before my work day started. I chose the beginner track and used noise canceling headphones to avoid interruptions. While I was setting up the app on my phone, I was sitting in my IKEA Poang chair. Headspace has a wonderful feature that allows you to choose a mediation guide, and I picked the woman named Dora who was an excellent beginner teacher.
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The first seven days
After seven days of meditation, I looked forward to my three minutes of guided silence. I put myself into a familiar routine: wake up, check in at work, make my bed, and then sit in my comfortable corner and meditate. I didn’t allow myself to start the day without taking the three minutes to myself and listening carefully to Dora.
To begin with, she instructs you to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and start breathing, keeping a gentle look, and on the third breath, close your eyes. A friend of mine is engaged in the decolonization of spiritual work and always encourages me to position myself in a form that is ready to receive – that is, open palms and an open chest, so I have included that in my everyday life too.
A different metaphor is used in each session of the Beginner’s Headspace course to familiarize you with the root of meditation. Sometimes internal thoughts are referred to as passing traffic; other times clouds or a rushing river. After a week, I didn’t feel 100% calm and collected, but I learned how to start my process and the idea of meditation was no longer stress-inducing. I found it a productive way to start my day and manage my racing mind.
For the next week of my trip, I plan to increase my meditation time to five minutes, change the time of day, and see if a midday meditation feels different. I hope to strengthen my meditation practice as the month progresses and hopefully reach 10 or even 15 minutes a day. And who knows, maybe at some point I will finally integrate meditation into my daily life.