I once heard Brendon Bruchard, a high performance coach, use the acronym “MEDS” as a simple way to help remember some of the most important elements to our mental health. The acronym stands for : “M” - meditation, “E” - exercise, “D” – diet, and “S” – sleep. I could probably end the blog right now as most of us would agree our mental health would improve if we took our MEDS. What is also great about this acronym is that every element is under our control in one way or another. This week let’s take a look at the “M” for meditation.
Is Meditation Right for You?
For years, I saw meditation as something that helped everyone else, but not me. I was very active person. Sitting still on the floor with my legs crossed, hands on my knees, and listening to rain drops and bug sounds in the background seemed like quackery. My daughter tried for years to get me to meditate. I live a very stressful life and she was constantly on me to try meditation. I finally took her challenge in the summer of 2017. I promised I would meditate using a free Oprah/Deepak 21 day guided meditation class.
Stick with it!
At first, I really struggled. My mind raced in 20 different directions and I could not sit still. My breathing was a joke. The more I thought about what a waste of time this was, the faster I breathed from the anxiety that this was taking valuable time from my schedule. Through all my doubts and skepticism, I kept my commitment to my daughter. By the time I finished the 21 day program, I was hooked. I have not missed a day of meditation since then. There is no doubt it impacted my life in a very positive way and has become a daily ritual.
Make Meditation Yours
Meditation is a very personal thing. There is no “one way” or a “right” way to do it. It is not bound by time. Some days I can put 3 minutes into it and other days 15-20. I cherish this time because it takes me out of all the chaos into a quiet time where my brain is still and my breathing is peaceful. When I meditate, I am not worrying about tomorrow or regretting the past. I am enjoying the here and now and am present. I use it to center myself and refocus as needed throughout the day too. When I am hit with stress, I use meditation and breathing techniques to calm the storm and get back on track.
There are many types of meditations. Explore them and find what is the best fit. Ask your medical professionals for recommendations. It certainly is not a substitute for getting the professional help you need or from taking medication you may need to maintain your mental health, but it may help you. Meditation is free and there are so many resources available on the internet, apps, and YouTube that cost nothing. There is also a lot of research that supports the benefits.
At first, meditation may be difficult but stick with it. If nothing else the breathing techniques can help both you and your child to relax. My son, who has multiple disabilities, loves meditation and we both do it together sometimes to keep us calm, refocus and even to get to sleep at night.
Share below if you use meditation or not and what techniques you have found help to re-center and calm yourself or your children.
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