I meditated for 30 days and think you should too ;)
In July I committed to meditating at least once a day for the whole month. In June I had meditated a couple times a week, saw some benefit, but knew if I wanted the best results I needed to hunker down the same way I did to lose weight, or how one would create any new healthy habit.
I am a "recovering" over-thinker (meditation is helping this), clinically diagnosed Highly Sensitive Person (clinical is a stretch but it was my therapist who told me I lived the life of one so we are rolling with it), worrier, and anxiety filled human. I also have a lot of other "imperfections" that would take up too much time to list and also would stress my perfectionist mindset out so we will just stop right there ;)
Meditation and the benefits are all the rage right now. It's on our morning news, in our social media feeds, at least 1 person you personally know talks about (maybe way too much). It's been classified as "woo woo" by some of my simpler clients and people who are afraid to sit...alone...with...their thoughts???? But, forgive me, it's more LACK of thoughts in the kind of meditation I participate in.
If you've thought about it, dabbled in it, bought a book about meditation and never opened it, or have tried guided meditations on YouTube, if you commit to practicing once a day, for a straight month, you're setting yourself up for some amazing and life changing days ahead. Let me break it down for you:
1. You will have the 'best night sleep' every single night.
When I do not meditate, I wake up at least once if not twice, in the middle of the night. When I meditated for 30 days straight, no matter if I did it before bed or I had meditated that morning, I slept with no interruptions. There are so many books, blogs, and podcasts that breakdown the science behind meditation and your sleep patterns, I will not do that here lol. I just want you to take it from someone you trust and know that meditation helps your sleep like WHOA.
2. Panic attacks and anxiety start to become distance memories.
It used to take me hours to come down from a panic attack or anxiety fueled spiral of thoughts. I could not balance in my own head what was true or false when these two debilitating mental states would start. When you read articles about meditation helping anxiety THEY ARE CORRECT. When you have a panic attack and think the world is ending IT IS VERY REAL in the moment and terrifying. But meditation will change all of that. I swear. Scouts honor. It helps you sit with scary thoughts and just watch them and not react and when you DO feel anxious or like a panic attack is on the brink, you mysteriously are able to ground yourself quickly and catch what is happening in your mind before the spiral. Meditation helps you remember WHO YOU ARE which is love, peace, and stillness. Anxiety and panic attacks are the opposite of that!
3. Your workouts become a whole new beast.
If mediation is all about watching your thoughts or having lack of thoughts, what better way to see the full benefit of this practice than in a workout! You see very quickly how your mind starts working against your body and it will frustrate the shit out of you once you mindfully notice it's happening. One minute you're like, "Hell yeah! I love moving my body!" and so very quickly your brain is like, "NOOOOOO OWWWWIIIEEEEEEE THIS HURTS I'M SCARED, I CAN'T DO THIS, I'M WEAK, I'M NOT STRONG, I AM A FAILURE...." or the countless other lies your unmonitored brain pipes through your head. I have personally found since meditating regularly that my workouts are a lot more fun because I am able to 100% focus and hone in on whatever body part I'm actually working. If I'm working my arms and for some reason my head starts talking about my butt??? Oh hell no, homie, we are on arms, focus up. It's terrific. And hard. But worth it :)
4. You understand the meaning of being fully present.
If meditation is noticing your thoughts and steering them back to the breath or a guided meditation you're listening to, then you recognize very quickly when you're not staying on task in your every day life OR being present. When we are fully present with people and places around us, it changes things. It changes your mind because your mind is always wanting to be talking talking talking but what if the person you're with is talking???? You're not there, you're talking in your own head whatever you're about to say to them instead of listening to their own words and then responding once your mind has had time to process it. The act of being present changes your body, it slows down and controls your nervous system (more on chakra's, aura's, and energetic bodies later one!) so that you're actually calm, still, and totally aware of what's happening around you. It changes the game when you're driving, when you're shopping, when you're sitting, when you're walking around, when you're doing anything in life. Being present is something we have tuned out with technology and constant distractions from these devices. It feels really good to find it again.
(I always like to reference the 90's so if you're a 90's kid you'll remember what it was like before the internet, cell phones that are computers, and billboards that change really quickly on the highway so you crank your neck to get a good look at the new ad and almost rear end the Mercedes in front of you....simpler time in life, the 90's...)
5. Meditation is as legit and real as everyone says.
You start meditating for your own reasons. A few of mine were to gain control over my mind, calm my nervous system, and learn to eat better and more intuitively. I found a great book called Meditate Your Weight which breaks down the science of meditation and healthy eating. Pretty amazing stuff. Your reasons will be your reasons but I highly encourage you to find at least one and make that your foundation for why you're going to practice meditating. Your reasons will change and flow (something else meditation helps with: change!) with you as a person and who you start to become once incorporating this powerful yet subtle practice that only gets better over time. I had no idea I would sleep better once I started meditating, even with all the articles I read it never crossed my mind. If you google "what is mediation good for" you will get a list your own brain can't wrap your head around because it's truly, deeply, wonderfully good for EVERY.THING.
The app I used to track my days above is called "Calm" and I bought the package after my month of free meditating. I would also recommend a book called Calming Your Anxious Mind which talks about, GO FIGURE, the science behind meditation and how it quite literally changes your brain for the BETTER! How freaking cool, right?!