Updated: Mar 8, 2020
What is meditation? Does it work? What does it mean to have mindfulness?
When meditation comes to mind, most think of ultra spiritual individuals, sitting on the grass, legs crossed and chanting. However, there's nothing 'woo woo' about meditation at all. I think of meditation as a life-altering practice, that disconnects you from the influences of society and connects you to you.
Now I love meditation, and I've seen first hand how it has changed my life. As cliché as this sounds meditation has completely altered my way of thinking, making me happier and more mindful. To get all scientific on you - a recent study took a group of Buddhist monks and got them to meditate while having a brain CT scan. What was found was amazing - The pre-frontal cortex of the monks’ brains (the part associated with happiness) was found to be extra active.
As geeky as this sounds ,during my time of bedrest from my illness I undertook a short course on "How meditation affects the brain". It had both a Buddhist's view and a psychologist's view and funny enough both outcomes were the same. The main point I learned was that meditation allows you to stop being so involved in your emotions and rather look at them from an outside perspective. An awesome quote I picked up was
"Respond rather than react"
Here are eight proven points where meditation can improve your everyday life:
Reduced Stress: Improved ability to manage stress
Increased Focus: Improved ability to pay attention, focus and concentrate
Improved Emotion Regulation: Reduced impulsiveness
Increased Emotional Intelligence: Improved conflict resolution skills
Increased Empathy and Respect: Increased empathy and understanding of others
Increased Resilience: Increased capacity to overcome challenges
Improved Physical Well-being: Increased engagement in physical activity
Improved Creativity & Collaboration: Improved expression of creativity
How do I do it?
I currently use an app called 'Oak'. Its amazing! You can choose the number of minutes, background music/sounds and what type of meditation (guided or unguided) you want to do, plus it's FREE! Not only does this app have meditation, it has breathing exercises and a sleep section. I use the 'cave water' sound to fall asleep to every night and it has improved my sleep tremendously. There are a range of meditation apps, but this is one of my favorites. Linked below you'll find some meditation apps that are highly rated and great to use!
If you've read all the way to here… I want you to set a goal and meditate each day for only 10 minutes or less. Record how you're feeling each day and see how you've improved by the end of the week! Don’t be shy either - If you have any questions or want to share your improvements I'd love to hear all about it! Just send me a DM or sign up to my mailing system and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!
Bloom: Better You - https://apps.apple.com/au/app/bloom-better-you/id1469479066
Calm: Meditation and Sleep - https://apps.apple.com/au/app/calm-meditation-and-sleep/id571800810
Insight Timer: Meditation App - https://apps.apple.com/au/app/insight-timer-meditation-app/id337472899
Lots of love and happy meditating!
P.S just letting you guys know I am by no means sponsored or paid to talk about the meditation app 'Oak'. I simply just love it! I will always share my honest opinions and be #real with you guys!