The first time I meditated, I ended up eating because my mind spent three minutes debating my hunger. Every holistic YouTube video, Netflix documentary and wellbeing article suggests daily meditation. I’m spiritual to an extent – I believe in karma, mantras; everything happening for a reason – meditation felt out of my depth.
Why it’s more than spirituality
In 2013, Davidji (author empowerment coach) wrote a piece on why meditating helps everyone for publication Greatist. According to research he found from UCLA, the majority of human thought relates to past and future. Daily meditation Davidji suggests, opens ourselves up to consciousness and present awareness. There’s a misconception relating to the ‘type’ of person who sits crossed-legged wearing yoga pants with their eyes closed.
That in itself a stereotype. My greatest hurdle was to stop labelling myself unspiritual enough which caused negative anticipation. The past few months, I’ve welcomed daily meditation and it’s become something I look forward to. Previously I said: “I can’t stop thinking”, “I don’t have the patience to learn”; “I’m not 100% sure this notion of shutting my thoughts can implement change”. On Netflix I watched The Retreat – a documentary following patients on a detox retreat in Thailand.
The series noted how meditating isn’t about silence within the mind. It’s about awareness of thoughts and paying attention to emotions. Rather than attempting to not think, it’s better to accept any views, ideas or memories during meditation without dwelling on them. So, if food crops in your head, don’t analyse your lunch or next meal.
Have you ever made uncomfortable thoughts comfortable? Sometimes after a breakup, you know daydreaming about your ex won’t bring you back together or remove the pain of letting go. But yet, you somehow enjoy the anguish because it keeps you connected. That idea puzzled my daily meditation. I wanted to learn and grow – I also wanted to take the easy route. I knew learning meant adjustment and difficulty.
It meant getting comfortable enough to not run away and dissolve my lost feelings in bouts of work and television. Head Space advises to acknowledge suffering as inventible, to stop procrastination. The article writes “no matter how happy our lives are, we are bound to encounter suffering sooner or later.” If you consider the options – to suffer now or to prolong suffering, it makes sense to choose the former. Tricycle.org explains people sometimes feel intimidated to meditate because of fear and resistance. It’s almost going against what we naturally program – 24/7 mental stimulation and need for busyness.
In April I published a post on my mind and body detox. I’ve began 2019 attempting to move away from a good and bad health outlook. Removing restrictions on what’s healthy in order to loosen pressure on my diet while still focusing on nutrition. Equally, I’m beginning to understand the overall picture of health and how I envision self-care. Having read the ongoing benefits of meditation – reducing stress, improving sleep and helping anxiety etc, it feels procrastinating and a lack of spiritual yogi, doesn’t excuse meditating.
Daily Meditation Tips
MindBodyGreen recommends a number of tips for beginners, including “observe without judgement” and “set a clear intention”. I like to eat before I practice. I put on instrumental music on YouTube and sit with my headphones. Crossing your feet on your legs sounds good in theory but if it’s uncomfortable, you’re better sitting normally cross-legged or whatever feels good.
MedicalNewsToday lists seven different forms of meditation. Kundalini for example, incorporates poses, mantras and deep breathing. “Loving-kindess” is another option which involves sending positive messages. If you struggle, perhaps you have yet to find your ideal option.
Daily meditation – have you tried, have you given up or do you practice? Please share tips and personal experiences.