A Busy Person’s Guide to Meditating
When I first started learning how to meditate, I thought I had to be perfect at it. Achieve a zen mood immediately. Banish all thoughts and listen to my breath. But the more I meditate, the more I realize that the beauty of it is that there’s no perfect way to go about it. No one is judging me. It’s a practice for me.
Why sit on a cushion and do “nothing” for 15 minutes? For me, it’s all about stress relief and managing my anxiety. I was in a high-stress work situation that led me to seek out meditation. I’m not cured of stress, but having a daily calming exercise helps me reduce those levels of heightened emotions.
If you’ve been wanting to learn how to meditate, but like me, you think it’s too hard, I’ve found that guided meditations are a great way to get started.
Some of my favorites include:
- Terri Cole’s 21-Day Meditation Integration. What I love about this program is that Terri leads you through each day and gradually increases the amount of time you’re meditating. So the first meditation is about five minutes long, and the last one is 20 minutes long. Terri makes it simple to follow along. I download the mediations on my phone so I can have them anywhere I go.
- Stop Think Breathe app. This is a great free app to get you started with guided 10-minute meditations.
- Gabrielle Bernstein. The spirit junkie author has a great guide to mediation on her website, free meditations, and mediation albums. I really like how she explains the process and makes it totally doable when you’re busy, busy, busy.
- Headspace. Another great app. This is a subscription-based service, but you can try it out for free to see if you like it. I really like the science they feature explaining why a mediation practice is beneficial.
- Meditation podcast. This is a meditation series I like to use when I’m having trouble sleeping. The hosts, Jesse and Jeane Stern, make the experience very pleasant. The podcast hasn’t been updated in awhile, but there is a nice library to choose from and download.
My friend (and talented graphic designer) Sutton Long gave me this beautiful Writual Blessings cards created by Cynthia Morris. Every day, I pull out a new card and let it inspire me for the day. I love it! Writing can be a place of self-doubt, but these wonderful little reminders help make the process a bit easier.
I hope that these ideas are helpful to you if you want to start a meditation practice!