Meditating on Meditation

As part of my healthy heart and healthy mind thing this year, I’m giving meditation a whirl.

It’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to do (or should that be talking about doing?) for longer than I care to admit.

I’ve sort of done it before – I did Kundalini yoga for a bit and there was quite a bit of chanting or active meditation in that – and it never failed to make me feel better. It wasn’t something I ever felt comfortable doing outside of a class though.

I’ve mentioned before that there are times when I feel so anxious or worried that my heart feels like it’s beating out of my chest. Sometimes it’s about work, but very often it’s to do with potential outcomes that are beyond my control or other people’s problems that I’ve somehow managed to make my own.

It’s worse at night when the monkey brain really takes over.

I can worry about anything – from what might happen to what people think of me, to creative self-doubt (that’s a huge one), to … well, you get the idea. The thing is, I need to let it go, I need to accept that there are things I can’t change and situations I can’t control, I need to learn to improve my focus, and I need to reduce stress.

And I don’t think that I’m alone in that.

Benefits of meditation…

According to pretty much everything I’ve read, meditation can:

  • reduce stress
  • improves concentration
  • increases happiness
  • increases self-awareness
  • increases acceptance
  • encourages a healthy lifestyle
  • slows aging
  • benefits heart health and immunity

If it can do all this, it has to be worth a go, right?

How to meditate…

I have no flipping idea. What I can tell you is how I’m doing it – or, rather, trying to do it.

I’m starting small – with just five minutes a day to begin to get me into the habit.

I’ve downloaded the app Calm. It plays relaxing birdsong and water trickling types of noises for as long as you need it to, but I’m finding that I’m using it more for the deep breathing and looking at the calming picture during the work day when I get the whole tummy dip thing. As I take ten deep breaths, I feel my shoulders relax almost immediately.

I’ve found a rock down at the beach that I sit on after my morning walks. I set the timer on my iPhone for five minutes, pop my sunglasses over my closed eyes and listen to nothing but the ocean until the timer goes off.

I’ve popped a playlist on my phone with some new-agey sort of music on it that I can use with the timer on my phone, although so far I haven’t managed to get a real habit happening at home.

the view from my rock

I’ve also downloaded the free version of Headspace, but the constant emails are already driving me spare re-upgrading to paid versions – so that won’t be lasting.

Am I feeling the benefits? Nope, not yet anyway. But I will perservere – so many people can’t be wrong…can they?

What about you? Do you meditate? If so, what works for you?

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.