Mondays. Bleh. Luckily, this particular sunny, chilly Monday is a great one for me as I have a much needed day off from work. In fact, I’m off until Thursday so it’s a great week for me (not to rub it in!).
On these kinds of days, I really notice the change in my levels of anxiety and stress (as I’m sure you all do in your own lives). Especially when I don’t need to do anything (errands, etc). My current job really isn’t that stressful (9 to 5 office job), but I’ve struggled with anxiety for years now. There could be many contributing factors to my anxiety, including personality, lifestyle, habits, the fast-paced world these days, etc.
Whatever the ‘reasons’, I’ve found that practising M & M (Meditation and Mindfulness) truly helps to ease my anxiety. One thing that I’ve learned recently about meditation is that the goal is not to totally clear your mind/make it blank. If that’s your goal, then you’re setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. The goal is to try to calm your mind. If random thoughts pop up (which they definitely will) then your only job is to notice them as they go by. To be aware of how many crazy thoughts run through your mind (it can be very enlightening!). One of the most important concepts of meditation is to be kind to yourself. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in meditation. You do it at your own pace, however it works for you. For example, counting and noticing your breaths may work better for you than repetition of a mantra. Figure out what works best for you and go with that (while being open to new ways of practising as well).
I’m truly amazed at how meditation and mindfulness have made a difference in my life so far. All with only practising once a week for 30 minutes (so far)! Right now I’m practising during my lunch break at work, which I didn’t think would work when I began, as it’s tough to ‘relax’ while in the middle of the work day. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how high and tight my shoulders are at the beginning of the session compared to how low and loose they are by the end. It’s just awesome!
My plan is to incorporate meditation and mindfulness more often in my week and see what kind of results happen from there. Remember, whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour, at work or at home, out in nature or inside your home, while sitting or lying down, meditation sessions can do wonders for your soul!
Happy M & M Monday! 🙂
P.S. – I don’t often like to ‘plug’ specific people/companies, but I feel that this one is warranted. If you’d like more information about meditation and mindfulness (along with videos & meditation recordings) please feel free to check out www.thecalmmonkey.com and get to know my work associate/meditation instructor Wendy.