Tuesday 4 February 2020

Why I Meditate

meditation, time out, self care, candle, mindfulness, lifestyle, life, mental health, mental illness, anxiety, depression

mindfulness, mental health, meditation, self care, mental illness, wellbeing, time out, anxiety, depression

I've always struggled with anxiety whether it's triggered by something or completely out of the blue. As someone who's on antidepressants and the odd beta blocker, I can feel helpless and defeated when I still get waves and flutters of anxiety. It's completely normal to get those feelings whether you're prone to them or not but it can be exhausting and incredibly frustrating.

I'd heard a lot about meditation but never tried it. I always felt I couldn't sit for very long and my concentration wasn't good enough. It wasn't until I read How To Be Human, by Ruby Wax that I started to consider trying meditation and mindfulness out.  They discussed the benefits of it, how to do it and the changes it can make to your life amongst many other things. Most importantly, you don't need to have great concentration and be able to give your undivided attention. It's only natural that our minds will wander, we're only human. In fact, it's all part of the practice - the more it wanders the more you can train it, which is even better. It's not just Buddhists who can meditate, everyone can.

"The goal of meditation isn't to control your thoughts, it's to stop letting them control you." - The Age of Enlightenment

I've been doing mediations most days for nearly a year and it has completely changed my outlook on life. I feel all round calmer and things that I used to get uptight about make me nowhere near as anxious now. I feel generally a lot more positive, noticing and appreciating the smallest, simplest things. My mind doesn't get so ahead of itself and worry about months down the line or the 'what ifs' in life. Instead, I have the mindset of dealing with things, good or bad, only when they come around. I have learnt to live in the present and enjoy moments so much more because I'm truly in those moments whether it's watching a film or spending time with family and friends.  

relaxation, relax, sleep, meditation, breathing, breathe, anxiety, depression

Simple Practices for Everyday

  • Notice one new thing on your journey to work each day. Is it a tree you haven't seen before or a beautiful house you didn't realise was there?
  • Be thankful every night for each day and what you have in life
  • Focus on your breathing and what is happening in your body
There are a couple of guided mediations that work well for me which I always go back to. Firstly, the website mindful.org has some amazing information and meditations. You can also sign up to their mailing list for articles.  A favourite of mine is the 5-minute guided meditation. I use Headspace on Spotify, you can also use their app but I prefer using the guided mediations on Spotify. These are so simple, short (or long) and perfect for beginners. I usually do a meditation before bed but it's also great to do one in the morning to start your day on the right foot.


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