Posted in Mentality

A Laywoman’s Guide to Meditation

Where to start, why I think everybody should at least try it once and what all of that has to do with no longer wanting to give a fuck about everything. Put your seat belt on peeps, this is a long one xD

So, if you have read my “The Path to Self-Improvement” series, you probably already know this, but for those who didn’t: I’ve started meditating regularly during the past month.

I’ve always wanted to include meditation in my daily routine, simply because the few times I did try it, it always felt nice. However, I always struggled with keeping up with it or finding time for it every single day. That has now changed, thanks to the challenge that me and my friend Joan did for two weeks. I have included meditation into my daily routine and, in fact, have already noticed that I miss it, if for some reason, I don’t have time to do it on certain days.

Now, I am certainly no expert, probably not even intermediate yet, when it comes to meditation, but I wanted to write this post nonetheless because I noticed that it can be confusing af to know where to even start and there are a bunch of things that I find are important to know, regarding the topic.

How do I know, if meditation is for me?

Honestly, I think everyone can and should at least try to give meditation a shot at some point in their lives. In my opinion you can only know, if it is for you, if you have tried it. I mean, I guess if the concept of sitting still and focusing on yourself for a few minutes doesn’t appeal to you at all, then that’s also okay, of course. However, even then I’d recommend to at least try it once, you might be surprised.

To Guide or to be Guided that is the question…

…and probably a major one that you are likely to ask yourself at the beginning of your meditation journey.

Guided meditations are programs or videos where someone quite literally talks you through the whole process. They are most often targeting a certain topic and help you focus by telling you to pay attention to your body and your breathing. The benefit of such meditations is that it is easier to stay focused than it would be, if you didn’t have a voice that keeps bringing you back to the task at hand, when your thoughts inevitably decide to take a stroll.

Non-guided meditations on the other hand are great, if you just want to sit down and relax for a little bit without having to focus on anything. They are fantastic for “emptying your mind”, so to speak. However, while some people might immediately get the hang of it, most people, including myself, struggle to keep their mind from wandering during meditation, especially when they are only starting out. So it can be a quite hard to just sit down, focus on nothing and have your mind quiet down.

But why is that?

Well, I can of course only speak for myself and what’s going on in my mind when I try to quieten it down, but I tend to think about a lot of random stuff. Starting from all the stuff that I need to do that day, over what’s gonna be for lunch, all the way to what I saw on social media the day before. What usually happens then is that I wonder why I can’t focus and start to focus on why I can’t focus and that I should be able to and suddenly the whole calm and serenity is broken because now I am judging myself for not being able to focus… yeah… you get the gist xD

So I have very quickly realized that guided meditation is the way to go for me, and I’m very happy with it 😊

Where to start?

When it comes to non-guided meditations, that question is easy to answer: either look for some quiet background music you enjoy and that isn’t distracting to you or do it without any music at all. You’ll figure out pretty quickly what you prefer, I’m sure.

When it comes to guided meditations, however, the question get’s a little bit more complicated to answer. There are a ton of different apps and programs out there that offer you guided meditation, such as Headspace or Calm, to only name two, and at least I felt a bit overwhelmed by all of the possibilities in the beginning.

I found that the easiest way to see, if meditation is something you want in your life is by looking for guided meditations on YouTube. There are so many out there, targeting so many different topics and it’s genuinely a very good place to get started.

If you then want to switch to an app for whatever reason, I can recommend reading through some reviews and maybe looking for some comparisons between the different apps; or you can of course also download them yourself and check them out. Most of them do have some free features after all.

Why should you meditate?

Meditation has many benefits and most of them you’ll find out for yourself once you give it a shot, but for me there are two that stick out in particular. One is the fact that no matter what mood I’m in, meditation helps to improve it. Even if it’s just by a little bit but does help.

The second major benefit that I see in meditation is that it helps me focus on myself for a little while and not on my friends or family or strangers and what those might think of me. It helps me to shut those thoughts down for a bit and just focus on what I want for myself.

So, now what does all of that have to do with no longer wanting to give a fuck about everything?

Well that’s easily explained. Meditation forces you to focus on yourself instead of others. Depending on what you go for, you might even tackle certain topics that bother you and you might find that they become much easier to deal with, the more often you concern yourself with them.

So, if you’re someone like me, who used to give too many fucks about too many things, meditation can help you to center your thoughts and make you aware of what really matters. I personally realized that I was spending too many thoughts and too much energy on things that didn’t really matter instead of focusing on a few things that I wanted to matter. It helped me to take a step back from my life and reevaluate what I really wanted to spend my energy on in the future.

Of course, and I think that needs to be said as well, meditation is no miracle. It’s a process. And a process takes time and there will be better days and worse days. Old habits die hard after all and sadly, nothing will magically solve itself. However, I have noticed significant improvements in my life since I included it in my daily routine and that surely has to stand for something, right?

Have you ever considered including meditation into your daily life or maybe you are already doing it and want to share your own experiences? Let me know in the comments 😊

As always, stay safe and healthy, and thank you to everyone who is supporting this blog in any way, shape or form. You’re all incredible and I appreciate every single one of you ❤

~Luna


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Day 2 – Good Habit Central

Day two of our challenge was filled with us picking up a lot more good habits and a lot of, let’s call it, “new year, new me” vibes (even though it’s obviously not the start of a new year, but I’m sure you know what I mean).

Getting Up and Morning Routines

Joan: “Getting up proved to be harder today. I am not entirely sure if that is because I didn’t sleep well or if my body has yet to get used to my new sleeping schedule.”

Me: Getting up for me was a bit easier than on day 1, probably because I actually slept through instead of staring at the ceiling for an hour at 2am, like the day before.

I now also have a morning routine – whoo go me I guess … Let’s just gloss over the fact that I am in fact a 24-year-old adult that definitely should have already had that but hey, better late than never, right? My morning routine now contains meditation, reading for 30 minutes and skincare. Three habits I absolutely wanted to pick up and put into my day regularly and they fit quite nicely in the morning .

No exercise yet, even though that’s the fourth habit that I want to pick up during this challenge, however, I don’t really yet know where in my day to put that. If any of you have any input on that, please let me know in the comments.

Mood

Our overall mood was again pretty much the same. It was good and I now was even more excited about this challenge than before because it allowed me to do stuff like meditate and read, since I had enough time on my hands to actually do so.

Productivity

Joan: “I felt really productive today. I had two lectures to attend and I felt extremely accomplished after completing them. As always I cleaned the flat and decided to practice on my guitar skills and then let the day end with a bit of bullet journaling and a nice ‘cuppa tea’ (*Britishness intensifies*).”

Me: I again managed to get done with my work stuff pretty quickly. To be fair, it does help that this week seems to be a bit of slower week and there isn’t that much going on but I did all the stuff that I had to without procrastinating so that’s a huge plus right there. I then just used the rest of the day to relax, watch some videos and work on some personal stuff.

Sleepiness-Level

Joan: “Once again, I woke up having a good amount of energy but I had a down at 10-11am just like on day 1. Could be because of my lectures or because of my sleeping “transformation” and my body not quite yet knowing what’s going on. (My money is on the lecture though …¯\_(ツ)_/¯).”

Me: My sleepiness-level actually was very consistent during the day and I wasn’t really sleepy until I actually had to go to bed. At that point my body was like “it’s almost 12:30am, we go sleep now.”

Motivation

Joan: “I felt rather motivated today. With each task I completed, I felt more and more motivated to do more. I felt drawn to a lot of creative tasks today, maybe to balance out the blandness of some lecture. (Definitely not looking at anyone in particular …. *cough*).”

Me: My motivation was alright.. I did get my work stuff done and kept writing stuff for the blog but other than that I didn’t really do as much personal project work as I would have liked to, but I was okay with that and tried not to be disappointed about it and instead celebrate the things that I did do. (Yay to a more positive mindset!)

Plans for the next few days

Joan: “I am going to try and minimize my use of my phone and such, especially when going to sleep. I want to try falling asleep without any background noise/just music and no talking, to see, if that makes me fall asleep quicker.”

Me: I also want to stop using my phone and particularly social media shortly before bed. To try and do that I want to try and read and/or meditate before bed as well because that usually helps me to wind down and get sleepy.

So, that’s day 2 done. So far, we have definitely have noticed some improvements straight away but it’s still too early to say anything conclusive. Let’s see how tomorrow goes!

Hopefully, I’ll see you there and as always stay safe and stay healthy ❤

~Luna


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