How Meditation is Changing My Life

I don’t know why it took me so long to meditate but now that I am, that is all that matters. Multiple people throughout my life have told me that meditation is something that I should try but for some reason, it never stuck. I would do a ten day trial then life would get in the way, like it always does. Or doesn’t it?

I always had this inner gut feeling, or intuition that at some point in my life, when the time was right, I would start meditating. It was only when I started to go deeper into my spiritual journey and follow my intuitions with a clearer, open mind that I knew it was the right time to begin a meditation practice.

I started with the app Headspace. Headspace is great, especially for beginners, since it teaches you how to meditate through animated videos and guided three, five, or ten minute meditation sessions. You can try the Basics package, ten sessions, for free and then after that you can decided if you want to stay with the app and purchase it, or find another avenue of meditation (YouTube, classes, other apps). Headspace has some amazing meditation bundles with topics like health, bravery, happiness, work and performance, students, children, and sports. Here are just a few of the guided meditation courses you can master: Anxiety, Stress, Sleep, Depression, Pregnancy, Cancer, Pain Management, Regret, Anger, Change, Restlessness, Self-esteem, Relationships, Happiness, Productivity, Communication, Recovery, etc. There are literally hundreds of hours of meditations on Headspace! And for those of you who like to stay organized, the app keeps track of how many hours or minutes you have meditated, how many sessions you have completed, and how many days in a row you have meditated. Go you!

Personally, I may choose to purchase the app in the future but for now I completed the Headspace ten day trial twice and now I am going through a 21 day meditation experience from Oprah & Deepak Chopra. This meditation experience is completely free as well and this month's topic is Making Every Moment Matter. Each morning there is a new guided meditation available on the app or website, with new mantras and topics like “the best time of my life is now” and “I attune myself to the flow of life”.

I suggest finding the time of day that works best for you. Experiment until you find what feels right and what sticks. I first tried it at night before bed, then, after I got ready in the morning, and finally I realized the best time for me was immediately after I woke up. As I learned from the late, great Jamie Zimmerman, “RPM -Rise, pee, meditate.” It feels amazing to rise and stay warm under my blankets in my dark room as I tune into my meditation practice and exercise my brain. Once you find what works for you, do it at the same time of the day each day to create routine and structure.

Now that I rise and meditate, my morning routine feels more fulfilled. I do things now with more motivation and order. Before, I would wake up and do things like  - washing my face, eating breakfast, flossing, getting dressed - all out of order. My mind would be all over the place. Meditation brings organization and purpose to my day. Not just my mornings, I go about my day now with more fulfillment and purpose. Meditation is like my reset button, it grounds me, and sets me up for a glorious day. Since meditating I have noticed I am not as moody as I used to be, bickering less with my husband, having less mood swings, and getting aggravated so much less. I am a more calm and relaxed person now. If stress comes in, I know tactics from meditation to allow the stress to pass and react differently. I have significantly less anxiety, which relates to decreased, even non existent depression. My days are more fulfilled and purposeful because mediation has made me more mindful, allowing me to organize my day and get through tasks with ease. I am doing more, creating more, and stressing less. I recently wrote about my mental clarity and increased creativity in my matcha post where I gave up coffee and switched to matcha. With the addition of meditation, those both have also increased tenfold!

Aside from my personal story, meditation has been scientifically proven to mitigate addiction, depression, anxiety, stress, cognitive function, and even eating disorders. Meditation has the ability to improve cellular health, balance hormones, and reduce blood pressure. Meditation is proven to reverse the aging process of the prefrontal cortex, halting cognitive decline and aging. Meditation improves the density and structure of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), the region of the brain associated with creativity and self-reflection, as well as the amygdala, the region of the brain correlated to ones experience with negative emotions like stress and anxiety. Another region of the brain, the hippocampus, in charge of shaping new memories from experiences, is shown to strengthen with meditation improving ones memory and mental resilience. Due to meditations effect on reducing inflammation in the body, it is linked to higher immunity and protection against heart disease. Lastly, meditation has the ability to lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow.* Whoa!

Below is an info graphic I created on how to start your own meditation practice. It really is incredible the things you can accomplish when you sit down and journal, so for best results, use the info graphic as a template for a journaling exercise. Once you realize that you are in control of your life and you can set intentions and manifest what you want, the possibilities are endless. If you do

meditate already, I would love to know your favorite type of meditation, please tell me in the comments! If you do not meditate but plan to, I wish you all the success in your journey, tell me about your goals!

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Meditation Health Benefits: What the Practice Does to Your Body

Melnick, M. Meditation health benefits: What the practice does to your body.

(2013). The Huffington Post.

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