Do you ever look at your calendar and feel overwhelmed by all of the things that need your time and attention? If you are like me, you are busy and have a lot on your plate. You are responsible for taking care of your home, your family, and often working a job as well. Maybe you even have a side hustle or hobby thrown into the mix to do something for yourself, which only leaves you feeling like you have less time to relax and de-stress?
Over the years as a busy mom and entrepreneur, I have found that stress isn’t really caused by the things on my calendar. Instead, stress comes from how I feel about the things that are on my calendar. AND stress definitely comes from how I manage time to give my attention to all of the things that need it.
Trust me. I know it isn’t easy to de-stress. In fact, it requires practice and finding the right tools to help. One of the tools that can consistently shift my mindset and inspire a feeling of calm amid the bustle of the day is meditation.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that helps you focus your mind and become more aware. With practice, meditation can clear the clutter in your mind and help you find a feeling of peace and calm. While many people imagine that they have to sit cross legged with their eyes closed for hours on end to meditate, I am here to offer some good news. That isn’t the truth. You can meditate lying down, while walking or standing, and even sitting at your desk. Meditation can be practiced for just a few minutes at a time in the carpool lane, waiting for your kids to finish practice, and even while standing in line or sitting on a plane! Once you find the technique that works for you, you will be able to de-stress with meditation almost anywhere.
How Does Meditation Help?
Meditation helps to reduce the symptoms of stress because the practice triggers your body’s relaxation system. When you find yourself in a relaxed state, you become more clear in sorting out the things that require your attention. In this relaxed state, people have reported having better focus, more self-awareness, better memory, and a more positive mood. These shifts in mood and mindset often lead to to reduced stress levels, fewer headaches, lower blood pressure, and better sleep.
Do I Need A Lot Of Time To Meditate?
When I first came to a meditation practice, my children were 14 months old and 5 1/2 years old. Time was a precious resource, and I didn’t get much time to myself. I quickly learned that as little as one minute could help me shift my mood and transition into the next thing. You, too, can benefit from these small slivers of time taken throughout the day to boost your mood and improve your focus. I encourage you to look for small pockets in your day where you can pause, take a deep breath and meditate. Some people will meditate while drinking their morning coffee, before they open up their laptop, after dropping the kids off at school, or while taking their dog for a walk.
I Have A Hard Time Quieting My Mind.
Here’s a little secret. Meditation is a practice to teach you how to re-direct your thoughts and change your relationship to your thoughts. If you ask anyone who meditates if they have a quiet mind, they will likely say no! In meditation, you learn to observe the thoughts and let them go. As you let go of thoughts, the mind becomes less cluttered, and sometimes the mind becomes quiet. The more patient and consistent you are with your practice, the easier it will become to find those quiet moments.
If this still seems daunting, try guided meditation. When you have someone guiding you every step of the way, the brain is more engaged through listening and some of those pesky thoughts disappear.
How do I begin?
While it isn’t necessary to go to a class or do any formal training to begin a meditation practice, it does help to begin with some guidance. I have created many short and long guided meditations to help people begin their practice. I encourage you to choose the same spot in your day where you will meditate. Visualize where you will you do it and make sure that space is one you can return to over and over again. The more familiar your practice becomes, the more likely you are to keep it on your radar. If you prefer to have company, a friend or spouse can be your meditation partner and help you hold yourself accountable.
Can I Meditate with My Kids?
Kids can benefit from becoming still and meditating at any age! Try this practice to create a bedtime ritual and help everyone let go of the day and move into a place of rest.
- Diffuse some lavender oil.
- Light a candle.
- Take three slow, deep breaths together.
- Invite each person to share one thing they are grateful for from the day.
- Set a timer for one minute and sit in the silence of gratitude together.
If you are looking for ways to de-stress and recharge, look no further than meditation! It is a simple practice that will get easier over time and the benefits are worth the effort.
If you need help choosing how to begin, reach out to a meditation teacher who can offer tools and techniques that fit your lifestyle.
About the Author: Roberta Whitney Hughes is a self-care expert and a yoga, Pilates, and meditation teacher living in Colorado. She helps people develop a healthy relationship with stress, feel better about their body, and invest in the value of their self-care. Roberta can help you discover, share and create experiences that support inner harmony, health, and the art of PeaceFull LIVING. Request your free Discovery Call through the PeaceFull LIVING website to bring more peaceful moments into your everyday life.