Those who know me well know that I’m an advocate of living a healthy lifestyle. Right off the bat, people assume that means eating well and hitting the gym often. While those are both things I try and encourage others to get on board with, the #1 thing I can’t stress enough is the importance of taking care of your mental health as well as your physical health.
I find that mental health has not only developed this huge stereotype of being “fictional” or “overdramatized” but that the more people are talking about these stereotypes (particularly the millennial generation) the less serious people are taking mental health. It’s ridiculous if you ask me, but unfortunately this is just what I have witnessed and experienced.
Mental health is very, very real. Like most people, I have certainly had my bad days. Some days are bound to be worse than others. I know that I’m not the only one who has at times been consumed by seemingly never-ending negative thoughts and a negative life outlook. One thing that has truly changed my life in that aspect is meditation.
I’m not saying meditating is a magical cure that’s going to fix all of your problems. But I will say that meditation combined with mindfulness (I may do a blog on mindfulness sometime soon. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to learn more about!) and living in the present (read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” I promise you won’t regret it) will help you to live a more positive and fulfilling life.
Just a few of the many benefits of meditating include:
- Practicing living in the present (and not stressing about the past or future)
- Controlling your thoughts and emotions
- Calming a busy mind that won’t shut down
- Feeling recharged, relaxed and refocused
- Gaining a positive outlook and perspective
- Spending a few well-earned minutes on yourself
How I Meditate
It wasn’t until this past summer that I started focusing on the importance of meditation and incorporating it into my daily routine. I was fortunate enough to intern with a company that offered natural healing in many forms; one being meditation. Between my internship and reading “The Power of Now” I became more knowledgable of mindfulness and the importance of meditating.
Currently, I try to dedicate 10 minutes each day to meditation. Whether that’s when I wake up, before I go to bed or somewhere in between doesn’t matter. My favorite is guided meditation. Guided meditation is when you have someone who is more practiced leading you through the process.
There are many videos on YouTube that you can reference for guided mediation, but my favorite place to find guided mediations is through the app Insight Timer (shoutout to my brother for introducing it to me).
Insight Timer is a free app that you can get on your phone that gives you access to thousands of guided mediations uploaded from people all over. It allows you to select the type of meditation you want and the amount of time you have to dedicate to it so you can narrow down your selections.
OK, sure, guided meditation may feel weird to you at first because someone is talking to you, guiding your breathing and helping you manage your thoughts. If it isn’t something you’ve tried before you may be thrown off at first. But in my opinion (as with most things in life), what you get out of it is what you put into it. Give it your full attention and effort. It’s difficult to learn to keep your mind from wandering so don’t expect a perfect meditation the first time.
Here’s to you, your mental health (and physical, too) and meditation.