As a complete newbie to meditation, this post is definitely not one I thought I’d be writing even just a few months back. I’ve always been open to holistic therapies and spirituality, especially since going vegan. Although veganism is very much focussed on from a diet point of view, it’s a huge lifestyle change and opened my eyes to more than just the unsettling world of dairy. It’s definitely affected the way I live in more ways than just what I’m eating!
Anyway, over the past six months I went through a huge life change, going fully self-employed and learning to adjust to a new way of living and how I spend my days. I found the initial adjustment period quite unusual, although I was technically living out my dream (and still am) I suddenly felt stranded on a desert island. Looking back, I know it was just a case of finding my feet but it was a very stressful time of my life nonetheless. It also doesn’t help when you’re feeling like this, and also spending every day alone, it’s a real shock to the system. I feel this could be the topic for another post…
Learning to cope with stress and anxiety is something that I’m still learning, but I feel SO much better than how I did towards the end of 2018. One reason for that I feel is the addition of meditation into my routine. My journey with meditation began during a sleepless night, I reached for my phone (I know, worse thing to do) and an ad popped up for a meditation app ‘Simple Habit‘ that supposedly helps with sleep and relaxing your mind. I was in no position to ignore this, so I went ahead and downloaded it and thought why not.
I was particularly drawn to the ‘guided meditations’ and more specifically, those that are designed to help you worry less and sleep more! Guided meditation is deep relaxation technique where you’re guided by the voice of a practitioner who basically says all the right things. I’d never tried this before but I was keen to try something new.
The results were surprising.
My Sleep Has Improved
I went through a real bad patch with my sleep, every night I’d go to bed with a racing mind. It wasn’t necessarily stress, but ideas and plans. I would wind myself up by not letting my brain simply switch off. I found myself going over the days activity, or putting together plans to conquer the world. My habit to scroll Instagram in bed also wasn’t doing me any favours! The sleep-focussed guided meditation recordings have been so useful in helping me to unwind and drift off to slip. Not only do I fall to sleep quicker, I seem to fall into a much deeper sleep when I’ve meditated. I wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day ahead, rather than dragging myself out of bed to the sound of my alarm. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still have those days but generally I’m much more able to jump out of bed with a positive mindset.
I Feel More Aware of My Body
This was a strange and unexpected side effect, but guided sleep meditation often touches on body awareness and asks you to feel the support around you and slowly unwind. I suddenly realised how tense I was. Meditating makes you purposefully relax each part of your body, and you notice how much you were clenching your jaw or holding stress and tension in your back. Guided meditation is a great technique for relaxing your body, and also encouraging slower breathing. It provides a sense of calm, and encourages you to just ‘be’.
I Have Improved Mental Clarity
Since meditating, I feel much sharper day-to-day, and also much more motivated and clear on what I want to achieve in life and the journey I’m taking. It helps to de-clutter my mind and leave the days stresses behind. Whether it’s that email that bugged me all day, or worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet. I’ve always been an over-thinker, I’ll dwell on a situation for days and read into emails far too much. Meditation has definitely helped me to leave my worries and feel focussed for the next day. It’s a much more productive way of living, and I realise that sometimes I just need to give myself a break.
Although I’m still very new to meditating, I can already feel the amazing benefits it’s having on my life. I feel more focussed, reenergised and self-aware. My productivity has improved and I generally have a renewed sense of positivity about my path which is always good! I’m excited for the rest of 2019, so bring it on!
Oh and a quick little note, this post is no way sponsored or endorsed by the app I mentioned, I wanted to write this post to share my experience, and maybe even help you too if you’re suffering from sleep problems and stress.