Since my recent health issues started close to two months ago, I have been searching for natural ways to boost my mood and outlook. I have had some dark moments in the last few weeks but one thing that has helped me tremendously has been guided meditation.
Prior to my recent health issues, I never practiced any sort of traditional meditation. I definitely would sit quietly when drinking my coffee in the morning and I also routinely write down what I am grateful for in my life which requires some reflection. Even though I am committed to living a balanced life, sitting still for even ten minutes every day seemed like an awful big imposition on my already limited time.
Since rearranging my life for traditional mediation seemed out of the question and what I really needed was quick relief from my anxious thoughts, I turned to guided meditation. I decided to make it as easy as possible and after reading a few articles on the practice, I turned to Youtube to find the perfect meditation for me.
My requirements were a guided meditation that would not only be effective but efficient. After going through a few videos, I found one that has been working really well for me. Clocking in at just over 12 minutes, it is the perfect length to feel the soothing effects of the guided imagery but without a super long time commitment.
Next, I had to figure out when I was going to actually listen to this guided meditation. I thought long and hard about when I was feeling the most triggered and realized the start of the workday, with a seemingly endless list of tasks requiring my attention was when I felt most in need of a calming boost. I now spend the first 15 minutes in my office with my headphones in, listening to the guided meditation.
Just because I am technically at work doesn’t mean I am cutting corners when it comes to the guided meditation. I draped a blanket over my desk chair to make my seat more comfortable and since I have a light at my desk, I don’t turn it on until after I’m done listening to the entire meditation. I also close my eyes during the entire video, and rest my hands, palms down comfortably on my desk, with my legs uncrossed and feet firmly planted on the ground.
The great part about guided meditation is that it is guided so you don’t have to think about what you’re doing, you just do what the video says. I particularly love the breathing exercises early in the meditation which sets the stage for relaxing your body and mind. The gentle reminder that this time is just for me, and that I deserve to be taking it to improve my life is extremely helpful as well. This comes especially handy when your boss walks in and starts asking you a question while your eyes are closed.
Other resources for guided meditation include the Insight Timer which is an incredible collection of over 4,000 guided meditations for just about everything. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but more than one person has raved about how great it is to have this app when they feel stressed or in need of some calm vibes. There are also visual guides for meditation for those that have a harder time recreating the imagery from the videos and audio in their own minds.
Whatever you choose, the key is to do the meditation consistently which is why a shorter one can be less intimidating and easier to commit to. And don’t be afraid to share with others about your own meditation journey. In our fast-paced world we could all use some extra calm and relaxation and you never know whose life you’ll make a difference by simply sharing your healthy habits.
Are there any meditations or breathing exercises you swear by? I’d love to hear what they are, please share in the comments.