Self-care Series #2
“Take Control of Your Mind and Meditate”
Do you constantly forget to take care of yourself? I know it can be hard when you have a busy schedule or have children to take care of. I think sometimes being too busy is a sign that you don’t have enough self-love for yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, how can you truly love others with all of your heart? I want you to start treating yourself like the most intriguing and most amazing human being that you are. You, out of anyone, deserve your uttermost affection and love. Once you have all the love you can give to yourself, watch and see how that love multiplies onto others.
For this week’s self-care series, we are talking about meditation. Meditation is a way to connect with your most inner and truthful self. The part of you that actually cares and loves you. It is your center. The part of you that is always there when you need a moment. The most magical thing about meditation is that you can reap the benefits even with only a one minute practice. Moreover, a multitude of studies have suggested that mindfulness is a near-miracle cure for everything from anxiety and depression to heart disease.
Meditation and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. It’s crucial to stay mindful throughout the day, but it is just as important, maybe more, to take time away from everything and to center yourself with a 5, 10 or 20 minute meditation. I started with 10 minutes in the beginning. I used an app called HeadSpace, which was really good and gave me a good idea of how it all works.
I want you to know, just like anything else in this life, you need patience with meditation. You won’t be great your first time, and that is perfectly okay. You’ll still feel the difference and it may take you a while into building it into a habitual everyday routine. I also don’t want you to feel constrained to having to do it every morning, or blaming your bad days because you didn’t meditate that day. It shouldn’t feel like a punishment, but rather a more peaceful moment to yourself.
In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch of each moment and have become totally unconnected to this world in so many ways. It’s become so easy to not even look at the people you see most, like your parents, in the face and not even notice their features — like their eye color or the face expressions they make. We are in auto-pilot mode more so than ever. Technology has our heads down looking at our phones all day or staring blankly at screens, which tend to take us away from our precious time of enjoying each moment as a beautiful miracle. Mindfulness along with meditation is one of the key ways to have more peace on this earth and it is truly life changing – I can attest to that.
Meditation IS NOT about:
- Fixing you
- Escaping reality
- Stopping negative thoughts
- Being part of a religion
Rather, meditation is a way to:
- Reduce everyday stress of life
- Train and rewire your brain
- Strengthening neural connections
- Connect better with others
- Reduce the chattering voices in your head
- Focus on your mind
- Understand your pain/yourself
- Bring calmness to your everyday
- Combat whatever your day may bring
- Increase your concentration skills
There’s a growing research showing that when you train your brain to be more mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain. We’re constantly on autopilot everyday and our brains wonder/not pay attention around 40% of the time. That is a big chunk of our time that is being wasted.
So this week I challenge you to meditate with me for 10 minutes or more! I am aiming for 20 minutes, which is something I’ve never done. No pressure to do the maximum amount. Like I’ve said, meditation takes time to get better and to understand. I am going to set my timer to 20 minutes and listen to this background music, while I focus on my body, breathing, and surrounding noises. The way I start is, I gently sit upright on a chair, sofa or bed. Then I softly close my eyes and start to focus on my breathing. Now the breathing part isn’t the whole idea of meditation, it is just a good place to focus and find your inner core, due to the movement and the gentleness of it. While I am centering my mind and focus on my breathing, I will start to focus on any outside noise. Maybe there are some birds chirping, or the noise of the cars passing by. If any other thoughts come to mind, which naturally, they will, I will gently let them pass and refocus on breathing and my practice. Next, I will scan my body starting from my toes and scan my whole body, being aware of any sensations, such as warmness, any tingles or sharpness. I will do this until I reach my head. I will then go to a place where I find happiness and am able to relax. This place is somewhere with a lot of sunshine for me, personally — could be different for everyone. There, I will look at myself (so at this point, there are two of me), and give myself some type of a loving gesture. It could be a hug, or a saying, or whatever feels right at the moment. Once, I am content and have experienced everything in my “happy” place, I will go back to the practice of scanning my body. Once I’ve gone through feeling any sensations from my head to toes, I will move to noticing any outside noise, and when I feel ready, I can finally open my eyes. This meditation, I usually only do for 10 minutes, but it will be interesting to extend it and also to do it with the background music.
You can either do the meditation I suggested above, which is for self-love, or you can download apps like; Headspace, Simple Habit, Insight Timer, Stop Breath and Think or My Headspace.
Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer anything you’re unsure of! And let me know if you try this meditation practice with the hashtag #MemoallureSelfCareChallange!
Thank you for reading and see you next week for series #3 🙂
“And if I asked you to list all of the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”