image via pinterest.com
I’ve been meditating with my daughter since before she was born. What started out as a vague interest in hypnobirthing evolved into a daily routine during my pregnancy and then after she was born I would play my meditation app when I was putting her to sleep, the soothing voice seemed to calm her and it did wonders for helping me to stop mentally pacing through my to-do list and becoming frustrated about all the things I ‘should’ be doing instead of wasting time laying around.
But out of the blue I realised that this one little thing had been a part of my life for 2 years now and I was really seeing a difference. Here are just a few of the things I’ve noticed:
1. I’m calmer and can cope with stressful situations better – Here’s an example – I forgot to swipe my tram card one day and was fined $75 on the spot by a tram inspector. In the past an incident like this would have made me really upset, I probably would’ve started crying, making excuses and been really embarrassed about the whole thing. Instead I simply calmly acknowledged my mistake, apologised and paid the fine. Afterwards I was really proud of myself for handling it the way I did, it wasn’t worth the drama to get upset about it.
2. I solve problems faster with creative solutions – I’ve found that allowing myself down time frees my mind to think clearer and more creatively. When I’ve come up against big problems in the past my usual reaction would have been to become overwhelmed and upset before being able to find a solution, whereas now I’m able to calm down, take time out and come up with solutions easily and completely skip the drama phase.
3. I come up with more creative ideas for my business – I’ve always enjoyed coming up with new ideas for my business but having the time to think creative ideas through clearly without distractions has been difficult for me because of my busy and growing family (I have 5 children!) and all the demands of working ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ it. Just 20 or 30 minutes of down time a day gives me the space for reflection and planning I need to come up with new and better ways to do things.
4. I sleep better – I experienced insomnia during my pregnancy, it was so severe that one night I was awake for the whole night! Meditating before bed, clears my mind of stress, problems and worries and allows me to relax and unwind, it calms my breathing and my whole body just quietens and settles for sleep.
5. I manifest things better – This is probably one of my favourite reasons to meditate, I know it perhaps sounds very new-age, hippy of me, but it truly works! I often use meditation time to visualise an outcome I’m hoping for, when we first moved to Melbourne we were living in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment right in the city, it was a great location and was affordable for what we needed at the time, but it was always ever only going to be temporary for a large family like ours! I trawled through the real estate sites for 6 months, I knew exactly what I wanted and had a very set budget, and then incredibly once I started really visualising what I wanted and getting clear about exactly the house I was after and where it would be, the perfect house appeared! (And we now live there!)
BUT I DON’T HAVE TIME
The main excuse I hear from people for not trying meditating is that they don’t have time. I get it, we’re all busy, there’s always lots going on, but some things are worth making time for.
Here’s how I do it:
1. BEDTIME: The easiest way for me to fit meditation into my life is at bedtime, you’re already lying in a relaxed position with your eyes closed, so you may as well be meditating right?
2. APPS: Meditation apps are inexpensive, some are free, and these are the best way for getting started, as they guide you through the steps. Some of the voices are annoying so you might have to trial a few to find the right one for you, that’s ok, stick with it, it’s worth it.
3. NAPTIME: The other time I use it is when I lie down with my little girl for her afternoon nap, it actually helps me to stop from falling asleep and also allows me to know how long I’ve been lying there because I know how long each track goes for (usually 20 – 30 min). I then get up refreshed and ready to get a couple of hours of work in while she naps. I’m 100% convinced that it’s good for her as well.
4. WALKING MEDITATION: I don’t use the walking meditation app as much as the bedtime ones but I really like it, it awakens your senses and just feels really good for you. All the experts say that getting out for a walk is good for you and that mediating is good for you so combining both just makes sense. It works best if you’re by yourself.
If you haven’t meditated before I really urge you to give it a try and let me know what you think, it’s inexpensive, boosts your mood and your creativity and scientists say your brain power too!
If you do meditate I’d love to hear from you, how, when and where do you meditate, what’s your favourite app?