Is it just me, or has the number of people who meditate drastically increased over the last few years? Or perhaps, we’re just hearing about it more. Either way, I’m the type of person whose mind is constantly going. I’m always thinking. In fact, I largely avoid yoga classes because of the savasana portion at the end, where you relax and breathe deep for what feels like an hour. It’s supposed to be relaxing and peaceful, but the whole time I am thinking about what I am doing after class, what we should make for dinner, or “crap I forgot to do this at work today”… my mind wanders.
I think it was around the time that I was planning my wedding that I realized I was stressed out ALL THE TIME. When I run, I really try to work on my breathing. This is mostly because sometimes I’ll forget to breathe and that’s a disaster. So during portions of my run, I’ll concentrate on breathing in, breathing out. I also try “belly breathing,” filing up my belly and not my chest. I started applying this breathing concentration tactic to my everyday life. When I get stressed out at work, or just because I’m thinking about something stressful (which happens all the time), I take a couple of deep breaths. And it really calms me down. Sure, it doesn’t take the stressors away, but it helps me see things a little more clearly.
Anyway, I thought to myself, what else could I be doing to reduce my stress? I started using the Headspace app. It’s a guided meditation app that you can try out for free! The first few practices are only 3 minutes long, which really appealed to me. I thought, I can focus for 3 minutes! Now that I’ve moved through a few exercises, I just completed 30 days of the “basic” meditations, the exercises are 10 minutes long, which really isn’t so bad. Sure, some days I find my mind wandering, but the app teaches you to recognize that your mind has wandered and get back to the meditation focus.
I can’t say that I’m an expert at it yet, or if I’ve even reached full meditation status, but it allows me a few minutes a day to relax, to focus, to breathe. They have a lot of different areas that they focus on, like anxiety, productivity, even sports training. I just started the productivity pack because I’m finding that I can’t stay focused at work lately. Once I begin training for a new race, I can’t wait to try the sports pack.
I would recommend giving meditation a try. I really like the Headspace app. Because I finished 30 days, I was given a code to give to a friend to try a month free. If you’re interested in trying it, let me know and I can give you the code.
Jane the Virgin is my favorite show right now. When she gets overwhelmed, she takes a few deep breaths, which I can totally relate to. The whole being an artificially inseminated virgin part? Not so much.