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I’ve attempted daily meditation practices and struggled a bit throughout my life. Listening to specific sounds or voices can be very irritating to me. Instead of feeling all those excellent benefits, I would end up frustrated and annoyed. I constantly questioned myself, “Am I doing this right? Maybe I am not a ‘meditation’ type of person?” Still, meditation and mindfulness just kept coming up. As I embark on the journey to stop saying “I’m going to…” and do that thing, I’m incorporating daily meditation into my routines. I created a playlist for you if you’d like to start with short meditations like I am using. I would love to hear any recommendations you have!

Why mindfulness? 

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to have numerous benefits for self-improvement, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving focus and concentration, increasing self-awareness and emotional regulation, and promoting overall well-being. Regular practice can also positively change brain structure and function, enhancing cognitive abilities, inner peace, and contentment. Do you have any daily mindfulness practices? 

10 Benefits of Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety
  2. Improves focus and concentration
  3. Enhances emotional regulation
  4. Boosts cognitive flexibility
  5. Improves immune system functioning
  6. Enhances creativity and productivity
  7. Improves relationships and social interactions
  8. Increases self-awareness and self-acceptance
  9. Helps manage chronic pain and illness
  10. Increases overall sense of well-being and happiness

Mindfulness is a state of being present and aware of the current moment, while meditation is a practice that helps cultivate mindfulness and focus the mind. Meditation often involves specific techniques like breathing exercises or visualization, while mindfulness can be practiced in any moment of daily life.

What are some other benefits of meditation?

In addition to all the benefits of just mindfulness, meditation of any kind can bring you the following benefits: 

Five additional benefits of meditation:

  1. Lowers blood pressure
  2. Improves sleep quality
  3. Enhances feelings of compassion and empathy
  4. Promotes a sense of inner peace and calmness
  5. Decreases symptoms of depression

Combining the benefits of mindfulness and meditation into one can get you the best of both worlds. Is it better to do mindfulness meditations in the morning or at night? What time of the day is best for meditation? I’ve heard it all. Meditation first thing in the morning is most important because it sets the tone for your day. Midafternoon is ideal for helping you reset and focus your mind on your practice. Finally, some will say the evening is the best so you drift off to sleep peacefully and without judgment of yourself and your life. 

 

When should I meditate? 

Do whatever works best for you. What time of day will you have the least resistance to adding this practice? When I considered the times of day for me, I instantly thought, “I’m going to meditate first thing in the morning!” This seemed like the obvious choice because if I did it right away, then I would be less likely to skip or forget it if I planned to meditate later in the day or evening. The problem for me is that most meditations are 10 to 15 minutes long, and as of right now, my brain just hasn’t come online enough for me to sit and listen to anything for even 5 minutes. It’s something I’m aware I should probably work on (hence adding daily meditation), but for now, I had to lean into the concept of finding the time of day with the LEAST difficulty to get into the practice. This is also why I did not add them to an evening routine. In the future, I would like to incorporate evening meditations, but right now, I have other habits I’m trying to build into my evening routine, so adding one more feels chaotic. In the afternoon, between 2 and 3 pm, I experience the afternoon slump. I start getting tired and fidgety and just want OUT. At that point, I’m ready to leave my chair and move on to something else, anything else. This felt like the perfect opportunity for me to add mindfulness meditation. So far, it’s working well. I push back my office chair, plop a cushy pillow on the floor and select a five or 10-minute mindfulness meditation. I’ll be honest; 10 minutes of meditation is still a STRETCH for your girl, but I’m working on it, okay? With just 5 minutes of listening to the guided meditations I’ve found so far, I feel refreshed and emerge with focus and energy. It helps me get my day squared away and feel successful. 

I hope these tips were helpful to you, and I look forward to your feedback! Until the next one, did you say, “I’m going to…” today?  

Love yourself and others, Always.

 

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