Wellness and meditation have been around for centuries so why has there been so much interest in these tools as part of a wellness practice? I can speak from my own experience. As a competitive endurance athlete for 20 plus years much of my life centered around training, planning training and racing. This lifestyle was highly stressful not just physically but mentally as well. Add to that almost no wellness practice and as you can imagine year after year of this took a toll. While you may not be a competitive athlete no doubt you experience stress, anxiety, trouble sleeping and an inability to turn off your brain at times. Research is now linking many auto-immune disorders, cancers and heart disease to lifestyle and the environment. The genetic link as a cause is now much less likely and these diseases/conditions are on the rise.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first questions had to do with family history. When I reported not having any the doctors all pointed to environment and lifestyle with stress being a major concern. This tipped the scale for me. I finally got the message: things had to change if I had plans to be cancer free and to stay that way. This is when I began my journey developing a wellness and mediation practice.While I trust you do not have a life threatening issue pushing you to change why wait until you do. There is not irrefutable scientific evidence to show that mediation can lower stress, anxiety, help with sleep and provide people with a way to unplug and let their brain/body relax.
Here are 4 things that I would suggest for anyone considering taking on a mediation practice. Keep it simple, baby steps.
- Start off slow-5 minutes to begin and add as your ready. You may never get past 15 minutes daily and that is just fine.
- Make sure you build your mediation time into your daily schedule. I like to do mine first thing in the morning so I set myself up for a positive beginning to my day.
- Have a quiet spot to go to where you won’t be interrupted and you won’t be distracted. Remember we are talking about 5-15 minutes. Everything else can wait.
- If your unsure how to start there are lots of guided meditations on YouTube that can get you going. I like Dr. Joe Dispenza and he has several options. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ttv3_pw52fc
Deciding that you want to add wellness and meditation to your life is a very personal and powerful decision. There is not right or wrong way to do it. It will be up to you to build on your practice as you see fit. I have been surprised and grateful for the feeling of hope and joy that I am experiencing now when I do meditate. Habits take time, at least 12 weeks but maybe even longer. It may feel difficult at first. Difficult to quiet your mind, difficult to sit still, difficult to repeat the behavior daily. Give it this time. I trust you will begin to see benefits after a short period of time and it could take a few weeks. Another support I use for developing my meditation practice (and other wellness tools) is a blog called zenhabits.net by Leo Babauta. While this blog does not focus specifically on mediation he does address it frequently.
In support of you being able to live a life that feels free, powerful and awake.