I am not a self-help guru and I am not being paid to write this or promote any form of meditating service. To be honest, I was just stressed out and full of anxiety. Plain and simple. I was doing too many things at once and trying to multi-task and manage a busy lifestyle, entrepreneurship, a personal life and hobbies. It was taking a toll on me. Stress seems to only get worse if you don’t address it.
Not knowing how to handle it but knowing I had to make a change, I used the internet to search for ideas and came upon what appeared to be a cult-like group of people who swore that meditation was truly the answer. I’m a learner. I have always felt that learning and keeping an open mind is the way to discovering new things, growing and becoming a better person. However, my initial thought was that I would never have the time to meditate. Meditation has a reputation of taking a lot of time and dedication and focus. I was already struggling to find enough time to get everything done. Then I found Headspace, an app that claimed that you only need 10 minutes a day to meditate. Ok ‘Headspace’, you officially have my attention.
So What is Meditation and Mindfulness Anyways?
The idea of meditation is not about forgetting every thought you have but rather being mindful of your thoughts and learning to accept them and deal with them. During meditation, you practice letting your thoughts go. You don’t judge your thoughts or judge yourself for having the thoughts, but instead, you learn to accept the thoughts and then let them disappear. A thought pops up, “must check email” or “need dinner reservations” and then as quickly as that thought comes up, you let it go. This is actually no easy feat and it requires dedication. But slowly, as you continue to meditate and you incorporate it into your daily routine, you begin to deal with stress and anxiety much better and you start to feel the difference in your everyday life.
Do I Really Only Need 10 Minutes a Day to Meditate?
I had the same question. And the short answer is yes. Movies and popular media portray meditation as a devoted exercise, something that you need an hour for or more. But in actuality, all you need is 10 minutes. The key to this is finding a quiet space where you will be undisturbed. It’s ok if there is some sound in the background (the app walks you through how to handle this) but it’s crucial to turn your phone and ringer off and eliminate distractions for this 10 minutes.
The ‘Headspace’ app is perfect because it walks you through exactly what to do and it does not assume that you have any experience with meditating before. It tells you how to deal with external noises and how to breathe, step by step. The idea behind this technique is that we live busy lives and that finding 10 minutes in a day is much easier to manage and work into our routines then finding an hour. I found that the best time to meditate was first thing in the morning. If you put if off until the end of the day, you probably won’t do it. But if you meditate first thing in the morning, you start your day off calm and refreshed.
Most importantly, I have found that adding meditation to my life has helped greatly with anxiety and stress and it’s become a wonderful tool to decompress, start over and calm down. I am sitting here right now thinking of all of the different people that I know that could benefit greatly from some meditation. And I will bet that you are one of them.