by Melissa Borden, Meditation Teacher, Reiki Master & PSYCH-K Facilitator
We know meditation is good for us. We’ve seen the posts, glimpsed the studies. Heard of a friend of a friend who is so much kinder and happier since they started meditating.
So why don’t we do it?
Great question. And one that only you can really answer for yourself. Meanwhile, I’ve found these to be the two biggest factors that could be stopping us from feeling that deep bliss and relaxed state, which is the result of a regular meditation practice.
1. We take in more information in one week than our ancestors did in a lifetime.
This may not seem like a reason...but it is.
The amount of stimuli and information we are getting is adding to the growing intensity of anxiety. Do you know someone with anxiety? I bet you do. It’s SO common now and a big reason is that we are receiving more information than our brains are wired for.
So when we DO sit down to try and meditate, the first moment we try to get the mind quiet, this overload of information and emotion tends to come to the surface. Not only can it be disappointing; “meditation didn’t work” or feel frustrating, but for many it can be overwhelming and make the anxiety seem worse. Who wants to experience that daily?
Here’s the great news, meditation does actually help with anxiety and the overload of thoughts or emotions. When done well and with a few tricks, we can learn to stay calm when the thoughts come up, and learn how to release the thoughts and the stress that can accompany them. We will expand on this in a moment...
I get it. Life is busy, toddlers are climbing on you before you even wake up, you’re rushing from work to soccer practice and did you reschedule that dentist appointment yet? Weekends are packed with errands, trying to find quality time with your family, the yard needs some work done too. It’s hard to find time to even cook and eat well, much less meditate. It sounds great…but there’s just no time. I get it. I really do. And here’s the only thing I can say. The cost of not meditating may not be worth it, nor is it saving you time. When you’re going through life, how often do you feel rushed, behind, late, overwhelmed, frustrated? Or maybe you get a surge of anger that comes up at work that you can’t express, so instead you suppress it, inevitably to come out another way. Sometimes by shouting at your partner, kids or pets when you didn’t mean to.
What if instead, you found just 5-15 minutes a day. Little pockets of peace to meditate. And in this time your body and mind started to RELEASE the built up anger, frustration and overwhelm.
Imagine what it would be like if you started to feel happier, more at peace. Imagine the rushed feeling starting to disappear because you have this new sense of calm. You develop more focus; allowing you to get what needs to be done accomplished, but accomplished more efficiently. While meditation may not help a toddler get themselves dressed faster, it WILL help you stay joyful in the moment while waiting. Communication with your partner improves because you aren’t living from past emotions and resentment. You notice you are starting to heal by letting go of stress and anxiety. Just from meditation.
Not only these great reasons but a deep* meditation (*a style, not a length commitment) will result in 2-5 times more rest than sleep. Those who find pockets to meditate twice a day, notice they need less sleep overnight, and begin to wake up refreshed instead of waking up already in a state of “lack” due to lack of sleep. So not only are we getting back more time from our meditation investment via rest. We are happier, more present and focused while we are awake. What do you think? Would this be worth 15 minutes a day? If you can’t think of when you’d fit it in? Here are some options to get started: - Right before falling asleep
- Swap some Instagram or news scrolling for 10 minutes of meditation
- 3-5 minutes before you open your work computer
- 5 minutes at the end of yoga or a workout
- In the shower
- Mindfulness practice while walking the dog
- Mindfulness practice while preparing food or eating
- Mindfulness while brushing your teeth
You don’t need to go from 0 to 30 minutes a day of meditation to see benefits. Start small. Notice shifts, grow from there.
So what is meditation? And what is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?
It’s like plantains and bananas. All plantains are bananas, but not all bananas are plantains. All meditation is mindfulness. But not all mindfulness is meditation. Mindfulness looks like this: Being focused on the moment. Notice your breathing. Your feet on the ground. How does it feel to have your skin touch your clothes. What does your food taste like. What colors do you notice in a sunset? What do the intricate details of a flower look like, or how does it smell? (if you do stop to smell the roses)
Mindfulness is a yoga practice where you feel into your body in each posture. Mindfulness is anything where you are noticing (i.e. being mindful) of the exact moment. This can also be done in a meditation style where we sit quietly to focus on the present moment. This helps us with anxiety. This can pull us out of a panic attack or begin to help draw us out of depression. It is great. It is a fantastic place to start and there are many benefits for your brain in dealing with the overwhelm of information.
One being, as we slow down to notice the moment, we train our brain to notice one thing at a time. Resulting in improved focus, mood, relaxation effect by reducing stress in the now.
The style I’m referring to in the top of this article and what I’d love to share with you looks like this: Going a level deeper than just being mindful. Mindfulness engages 1 part of the brain.
Meditation engages your whole brain. The exact same way we get to a “whole brain state” in PSYCH-K, we can do this ourselves through a deeper meditation. It begins to feel quiet, healing and blissful. If you’re familiar with Reiki, it may even feel close to receiving a Reiki session. The exact feeling will be unique to you, but these are some examples of what you’re likely to experience. This type of meditation is where we get the deep rest for our body and our mind.
Where we remove stored stress from right now AND from the past.
Meditation primes our brain to be in a state of gratitude and joy throughout our day. So as difficult things come up, you naturally begin to stay calm through it, and are more likely to notice all that is going well.
Meditation starts to call back the YOU that you’re meant to be. The you without a lifetime of stress.
I would love to guide you through beginning (or deepening) your meditation practice. Join me for a FREE 5 Day Meditation Challenge May 16-20th.
Unable to wait until May 16th? Join here for a special discount for Rise & Shine Bright Community members: https://melissa-borden-yoga.mykajabi.com/offers/yduxDRhN?coupon_code=RISESHINEBRIGHT Interested in learning more? Check out our recent podcast episode on Mindfulness & Meditation.
Listen to podcast here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1980693/episodes/10529019
Watch podcast here:
Melissa Borden is passionate about helping people heal from past trauma resulting in them living more joyfully in the present. She believes that each person who takes a step towards their own healing and inner peace, is a step towards a more peaceful world overall.
You can find out more about Melissa and her services at: https://www.melissabordenyoga.com/