Is Meditation Really The Answer?
From the hundreds of hours of podcasts we’ve listened to and the thousands of words we’ve devoured about wellness, happiness, productivity, health and human performance, there is ONE common thread between them all. From ancient teachings to the latest research, this thing has proven throughout the ages to be a priority to those that seek a more connected, joyful and healthy life. It’s no surprise to us that this practice is meditation.
If you need more proof, there are literally hundreds of studies that have published the benefits of practicing meditation. Here's a few:
- Improves your memory
- Improves your ability to regulate your emotions
- Increases social connection & emotional intelligence
- Increases Positive Emotion
- Decreases Depression, Anxiety and Stress
- Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level
So, why aren't you meditating yet?
If you’re in full swing of your wellness journey you may be overwhelmed with the amount of different ways to practice meditation. If you’re fresh to the game, we invite you to walk the mindful path alongside us with ease. Nobody needs more things to add to the to-do list.
What good does it serve to stress about something that brings us peace?
From transcendental meditation (TM), visualisation and open eyed focus to themed guided meditation, mindfulness and kundalini, it’s easy to be confused by the varying practices to add to your toolbox. The question that comes along with a buffet of options: what one is right for me?
Let’s save that exploration for you to do in your own time but offer a very simple solution to get started with. The core struggle that people have with integrating new habits is exactly that: it’s hard to create new habits! Our brain is literally wired a certain way that makes us who we currently are. When you feel inspired to change, the conscious mind is on board - but that initial excitement is fleeting. The subconscious mind is responsible for 95% of our thought processes and this is where our beliefs live and actions come from. According to B.J. Fogg, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University who has studied behavior change for more than 20 years, we make lifelong change when we focus on 'tiny habits'. By identifying the easy-wins and sticking to them, we can powerfully create better ways of living.
Yes, this takes discipline and devotion. But here's how we're making it easier to make meditation a daily practice:
KNOW YOUR WHY
Why are you wanting to meditate anyway? Reading new information online probably isn’t enough to keep you inspired. Take a moment to reflect on the feelings you wish to embody in your day to day that could replace stress, unease and irritability. Perhaps you believe meditation could bring a deeper sense of connection to yourself, or give you a space of peace to break up your busy day. Get super clear on WHY you are wanting to integrate this practice in to your life and write it down. Keep this at top of mind throughout the 30 days, and read your Why before each meditation to cement the intention.
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOURSELF
We’re all for guided meditations for specific purposes when the time is right, but to cultivate a consistent practice, keeping it simple will make it way easier to stay devoted to. We’ve tried plenty of different guided meditations that are easily found online but each day would be a decision to make before we sat in stillness: ‘what’s up with the wifi? What one should I do today? I don’t like this guys voice.’ And on and on. Make it easy for yourself by committing to a silent practice for this challenge - meaning you need zero equipment aside from your self.
We’ve got that straight - now let’s meditate.
OUR EASY-PEASY PRACTICE
When you’re going to bed, set your alarm for 8 minutes earlier than you would absolutely have to get up. If you use your phone for the alarm, name the alarm with an emoji for how you want the meditation to make you feel. We like keeping the wellness journey lighthearted, so we use the unicorn, sparkle or smiley face emoji. As soon as you wake in the new day, sit up in bed and close your eyes. (Go use the bathroom first if needed, and place a glass of water beside your bed at night to drink first thing as you wake). Set your timer for 4 minutes. Yep, 4 minutes.
Keep your eyes closed.
Breathe in and out of your nose, deeply and steadily.
Don’t try, or expect anything magical, but accept whatever you are feeling in that moment.
Just be there, without external distraction, for four minutes.
Before you know it, ding! The timer is done and you can begin your day.
Notice if each day you feel a little more inquisitive about sitting in a focussed state longer. Without putting any pressure on your practice, become curious about how you're feeling throughout the day. By setting yourself up for the 'easy-wins', you're letting it be easy to integrate this new habit in to your life. Enjoy the journey.
In Health and Happiness,
The Zura Health Family