‘Wellbeing’, along with ‘self-care’ has been a buzzword in recent years . In an age where we’re encouraged to focus on ourselves and our health (physical and mental), meditation is being touted as one of the keys to mindfulness and stress release.
I’ve always struggled with successfully relaxing and easing stress, so I carried out a little investigation where I meditated every day, for a week, and recorded how I felt during the process.
Read on to see how I coped.
Oh my gosh, I am so tired- it’s taken me over an hour from my initial alarm just to roll over. To be honest, closing my eyes and trying to ’empty my mind’ feels closer to a nap than actual meditation. I feel more forty winks than zen master, which makes me wonder if I’ve made an error somewhere.
My biggest problem right now is that I have no idea what I’m supposed to think about (should I even be thinking?) and I have that niggly suspicion that I’m starting to tip over that line between meditation and a semi-nap.
Maybe I’ll have better luck tomorrow? I’ll make sure to google some meditation tips this evening.
This is about as late as I can wake up; I’ve got a lecture in an hour and I still feel like snuggling into bed. The blinds are up and now I take a few moments to meditate, remembering to pace myself with deep breaths.
Wow, I might actually be getting the hang of this?
I feel a little more alert and ready to start the day. I do wonder whether it’s the meditation or the fact I picked a cute outfit for the day.
I’ve just pulled an all-nighter tidying up for a friend’s visit. I sit cross legged and take deep breaths again, inhaling for five seconds and exhaling for ten at an even pace.
The white behind my eyes could be a result of lack of sleep or even better, finally being able to clear my find.
I do feel more relaxed and definitely ready to go to bed.
I’m currently sat cross legged in the bathroom (my guest is asleep and I don’t want to wake her up). I’ve said my prayers and now the smell of Primark’s £1 salted sea-spray lingers in the air mingling with the background hum of the ventilation; it’s surprisingly therapeutic.
I repeat yesterday’s steps but up the ante, taking in deep breaths for ten seconds and exhaling for twenty.
The last five seconds are a little hard, but there’s no way this body’s got any tension left.
This time I tried meditating while listening to music and honestly I’m surprised this only just occurred to me. I’m back at inhaling and exhaling for five and ten seconds, but as the music draws on, I lose count and let myself breathe in time with the music.
It’s a little unconventional, but there’s something nice about this freer method.
I usually say my prayers at night so I thought about combining them since I don’t usually have any thoughts during this meditation process (you can probably see a pattern here). It helped me not to rush through and I was able to spend time actually thinking about the verses I prayed on.
I’m not as relaxed as usual but it could be because I’m still wired from my busy week.
I took a break from some work to meditate; back to my original method of counting my inhalations. It’s actually helpful in getting my mind back in the zone and I feel a little more focused on the task at hand (updating my blog). It’s been an interesting little experiment and I’m not sure if this is something I’ll be making a regular habit, but maybe destressing a couple of times a week will make a significant difference to the way I manage stress.