You aren’t alone if you envision meditation as sitting in a quiet place with your legs crisscrossed, back straight, and arms extended with palms up. But you aren’t required to hum any “ohms.” This was the vision I always had of meditation, and I’ve learned it’s slightly different from that.
If you haven’t ever tried meditating, you should give it serious consideration. It’s not what you might think. I was surprised to learn that it was much more powerful and beneficial than I had ever thought.
Meditation has gained traction, perhaps prompted by pandemic life. I can easily see how the stress and emotional interferences from the past few years could motivate someone to practice meditation. Of course, mediation gurus have existed for centuries, and it’s not a new concept. But last year, admittedly, it was new to me.
My dad introduced me to mediation, and I thought, really, Dad? I’ve never regarded my retired father as one to meditate, so it caught me off guard initially. He showed me a mediation app he uses called Ten Percent Happier. When searching the app store for mediation apps, oodles of results display. This particular one had been suggested to him, and he, in turn, recommended it to me.
He had practiced mediation for a few months and found it highly beneficial. He urged me to try it, so I did a couple of sessions through his login to see what it was all about before I decided to commit to it. After a few minutes, I was ready to sign-up for my own account.
Meditation is a way of thinking and a way of being.
Similar to my initial vision, it does involve quiet time–and who doesn’t need some of that? #WINNING! It’s also best to do it alone. Score again! I was really liking the sound of this.
At a high-level, meditation is a way to let your mind relax and focus on what truly matters. It allows you to turn off all the extra noise. There are countless benefits, and I want to share some of them that I’ve gained by practicing.
1. Me Time
I get a dedicated opportunity to prioritize myself. I schedule 20 minutes every day specifically for my mediation session. My family knows this is my time, and I’m not to be interrupted. Even if they try to interrupt me, I use my noise-canceling earbuds, so I won’t hear them anyway.
After my 20-minute session, I am noticeably more relaxed. Please don’t confuse this with tiredness. I feel peacefully energized. The best part is that it’s a motivating, calm sensation. Not the kind where I don’t feel like doing anything for the rest of the day like I do after a massage at the spa. But who am I fooling? I can’t recall the last time I indulged in one of those.
My general attitude has shifted in a more positive direction. I consider myself a naturally positive person, but I, too, have my negative moments. After practicing meditation for a few weeks, I noticed an overall shift in my attitude. I’ve become a lot calmer and just all around more upbeat more often. Meditation is simply brain training.
4. Stress Reduction
This is a game-changer. I battle anxiety, run on the anxious side, and easily get overwhelmed. I cannot multitask! When I have too much coming at me all at once, I break. Meditation has allowed me to accept this and handle stress more productively. I can shut off that static in my mind and focus on one thing at a time.
5. Better Communication
This has helped me in all my relationships, personally and professionally. I am a better listener, and I listen to understand. It’s natural to be ready to respond when someone else is talking, but meditation has allowed me to absorb more. I’m more focused on the now and present in the moment.
If you haven’t meditated, I urge you to try it. It’s a free pass for YOU time which, as mothers, we all need. The twenty minutes are invaluable, and I don’t know anyone who couldn’t benefit. Schedule the time on your calendar daily because you are worth it.
If you need to sell it even further, your loved ones will reap the rewards of the new you, too! There are even more added benefits than the few I mentioned. After you try mediation, tell me what changes you notice in yourself, and let me know what you love best about it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.