We live in a world of distractions, we are more informed than we have ever been with twenty-four hour news channels, endless social media notifications and public political debates. Marketeers are fighting for our attention at any cost and we can literally order almost anything we want online without having to interact with a single human being. So how do we find calm in a world full of well intentioned chaos?
In the west we are taught that being busy means we have purpose because we are fulfilling all our duties as professionals, parents, and partners, as well as many other titles that include but are not limited to; latte drinkers, book club members and food bloggers. We get so caught-up in our hardcore ‘adulting’ that we go through our lives on autopilot doing what we think we SHOULD be doing, instead of what we actually WANT to do.
Cut to 2020 and a global pandemic hits which forces everyone to slow-the-frigg-down.
As unsettling as this period of our lives has been, it has forced us take a step back from the rat-race and reflect on who we are and what we want from our lives. Whether this is changing our working patterns to spend more time with our families; or committing to having healthier and happier lives, many of us have decided that we want something else from that we weren’t previously getting.
For me, I have learned how to practise what I preach more. I advocate looking after yourselves by adopting different self care techniques, but am I good at doing this myself? Not really.
I have spent my lockdown and time off from work to get fitter and also to learn how to meditate.
In the past the thought of meditating always seemed boring to me, Just sitting down and closing your eyes and clearing your mind felt like it would be a chore rather than something I’d enjoy. I’m happy to report that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Meditation is an age-old practise originating from India which has been passed down from generations in the East through religious texts such as; Buddhism and Hinduism.
However, today in the west this trance-like practise has been adopted by many as a relaxation technique designed to help us find a place of peace in our busy worlds.
You may have heard of the term ‘mindfulness’ which has appeared to be a trend in the last few years. Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you focus on being present without getting distracted or overwhelmed by our surroundings. However you can be mindful without meditating by noticing things around you that you can hear, see, smell and touch.
Meditation differs in that you tend to take time out to do this. The aim isn’t to clear your mind of thoughts, it is to notice them as they arise and not try to change them in anyway.
For the last two months I have been meditating every morning for ten minutes at a time. I use guided meditations to help me focus. I have used two apps, one called Headspace and another called Calm. I will be writing a recommendation piece on which one I prefer in the coming weeks but I wanted to highlight these apps here because there is no way I could have got started without guidance.
I find that meditating each morning makes me feel more relaxed and in control throughout my days, I feel less overwhelmed with the everyday obstacles life throws at me and I sleep better at night.
I recommend anyone who suffers from anxiety like me to just give it a go, you have nothing to loose but a lot to gain. Just remember that it takes time to become good at something, I am by no means perfect at meditation as I often get distracted, but I show up and that is what counts.
Follow my blog for further meditation updates and let me know in the comments below how your meditation journey is going.