For some reason or another, I rejected meditation for a long time. Maybe it was because my mom told me it was great and obviously in the mind of young adults, anything a mom says automatically makes it “uncool”. I think it was also because the idea of thinking about breathing really freaks me out and therefore makes me think too hard about breathing and then I get anxious and therefore feel like I can’t breathe and its a vicious cycle.
However, while I was in anxiety treatment , I was shown Mindfulness Meditation.
“What?”, you may be saying, “Isn’t that just exactly the same thing with a different word thrown in front of it? Isn’t it still the same meditation you don’t like?”
No, dear reader, its quite different actually.
The goal of mindfulness meditation is for one to focus not on the breath, but on the complete absence of thinking. Its teaching how to let your mind be blank and how to treat the thoughts that may be wreaking havoc on our mind to slow down and simply let them pass. Its not about pushing your thoughts away, but simply letting acknowledging that the thought occurred, and then letting them go.
I may be making it sound easy, but its actually quite difficult and isn’t the same kind of relaxing meditation that we may think of after yoga. It actually take a lot of effort to let your mind be totally blank, especially if you have any sort of stress or anxiety. When you are experiencing tumultuous amounts of stress and anxiety is exactly when you should mindfully meditate. I still find my mind wandering when I do mindfulness and I’ve been doing it for months now every night before I go to sleep (it also helps with my constant nightmares!)
So to get you started on the mindfulness train, I thought I’d give you some places to check out:
MindfulPeace, the YouTube channel, has a bunch of really awesome videos, the man who speaks has a voice like silk, and the link above goes to their beginners guide to mindfulness meditation. It is a simple guided meditation to introduce you to not only mindfulness, but meditation as a whole. Other videos by them I would recommend:
- Mindfulness for Sleep: If you’re having trouble sleeping, I recommend this highly. I fall asleep usually 15 minutes into this 20 minute video. If you don’t like countdowns, however, I don’t recommend it.
- Mindfulness for Depression: It made my depression feel authentic and it got me to stop the lies depression yells at me, even if it was only for 20 minutes.
- Mindfulness on Present Moment: Staying in the present moment is so difficult, especially when you’re worrying so much on the future. This meditation allows you to just live in the moment and stop thinking about your future for just 20 minutes. This is a common one I do in 10 minutes every day with an app called Headspace (another great place to begin with mindfulness)
- Mindfulness for Anxiety and Fear: Another one from MindfulPeace. Not as long as some of the other ones, but certainly is a comforting one.
- Over-Thinking: Yes, its nearly 45 minutes long, but I highly recommend this one right before you go to sleep. Its ok if you fall asleep during the meditation, that means you’re really relaxed. I find this is another great one if you’re feeling particularly stressed out.
- A Lil’ Bit of Everything: This one is on the shorter end, but its also really nice. If you’re more into a female voice, I recommend this channel and this video.
Other Kinds of Meditating:
- Chakras: If you’re into chakras or want to focus specifically on one part of you that may be nagging at you, I highly recommend this one.
- Oceans: If the idea of being underwater calms you down, this one is super neat and really relaxing.
- Forest Walk: Oceans not you’re thing? Try this one instead!
Happy meditating! Let me know your meditating experience down in the comments!
Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?