Last month I wrote about resolving to make better resolutions for 2016. Rather than make an all-encompassing declaration of what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, I suggested taking on a new healthy habit each month. Baby steps are often easier to make happen.
Quite honestly, I wrote that post as a reminder to myself since I have some big ideas about what I plan to make happen throughout 2016. In order to hold myself accountable, I’m going to share these healthy habits right here at my Adventures of a Self-Healther blog. I hope you’re all up to the challenge of keeping me on task. 😉
I’ve decided that January 2016 will be the month I reap the rewards of daily meditation. Now, I’m not a complete newbie to meditation. I’ve dabbled in it and sporadically used it to relax, fall asleep, and clear my head in those moments when I need it—but it was far from a daily practice. The thing is, I’m well aware of the impact mediation has on those who choose to make it a daily priority.
Let’s take a look at just a few of these benefits:
- Meditation changes your brain—for the good. Trust me, you don’t need, nor should you want, your brain to be revved up at all times. Downtime is necessary to process everything we require of our brains in a single day. Meditation is a great way to give your brain just that.
- Meditation decreases stress and anxiety. A certain amount of stress can be good, but when left unchecked it can wreak havoc on your endocrine system and overall health. Pausing to meditate can help bring things back into perspective.
- Meditation reduces blood pressure, increases serotonin, and improves your immune system. No one can dispute the impact these physical bonuses have on our overall health. The simple act of daily meditation can give your body a boost on many levels.
I don’t know about you, but all of these benefits sound like things I want more of in 2016. But what’s my plan for making daily meditation a priority in my life? After all, meditation has many different approaches and philosophies, and I’ve read up on lots of them. As with anything else, it doesn’t matter what works for others. I need to take the bits and pieces that make sense to me and that I’m willing to commit to. Read on to learn about my strategy for reaping the rewards of daily meditation—it isn’t very complicated at all.
Each morning, meditation will be the first thing I do. Meditation requires quiet. Being the mom of three boys, morning seems like the logical time to make it happen. The good news is that I’ve always been an early riser, so I’m already up before anyone else in my house. I just need to make sure I turn to meditation before email.
I’m going with guided meditation in the beginning. My sporadic meditation from the past was always more beneficial when I used this method. There are several free online downloads like Meditation Oasis that I’ve used and enjoyed. I find this woman’s voice very calming and relaxing, but a friend did not. So be sure to listen to various resources to find the one that works for you. Perhaps one day I’ll get to the point where I can simply sit in silence with myself, but I’m not there yet.
I’ll mark down each day I make meditation a priority in my health notebook. This will help me see the progress I’m making toward my health goals for 2016. In addition to keeping track of how often I incorporate my new healthy habit of the month into each day, my health notebook will also help me identify trends in how I feel at different times throughout the month—energy levels, mood, sleep patterns, etc.
I’ll also meditate at night if I’ve had a hectic day or if I’m having trouble falling asleep. Slipping on some headphones and drifting off to sleep can be a real lifesaver.
This plan is something I can easily make happen, and I’m looking forward to it!
Interested in learning more about reaping the rewards of daily meditation? Check out these articles.
“Relaxation: The Cure-All Vitamin”: As always, SRP’s own Maria Atwood shares clear and easy-to-understand information about how a relaxation practice impacts your everyday life.
“Techniques for Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation”: Dr. Joseph Mercola offers some fundamental information about meditation and an example practice to follow.