My little secret to staying Calm


I've tried meditation on and off for years. I've practiced yoga for over a decade so I was familiar with the physical and psychological benefits of mindfulness but always struggled to make it an everyday part of my routine.

Then, last month, as I faced a fall season full of campaigning and holidays and intense scheduling I figured it was time to get serious. Plus, as I shared last week in Allison's post, I'd become a stress-monkey when it came to my kids and had decided it was time to stop yelling ... cold turkey.

I needed something to help me get through.

Drinking didn't seem beneficial to my kids or burgeoning political career so I thought I would try meditating. Every day. For 30 days.

I used an app called Calm and I loved it. It will send you reminders to meditate. It has a beginner's week of guided meditations to get you started. It has guided meditations to help with sleep, anxiety, self-esteem, focus, gratitude, you name it. Plus, every meditation comes with several choices with regards to length from 3 minutes to 30 minutes so you can pick based on how much time you have.

There is a new guided meditation every day so you don't have to think about all those options if that intimidates you. I usually end up using that choice so I don't end up in decision fatigue territory. 

I noticed a difference within the first week. It didn't feel like an uphill battle not to yell or stay calm. I seemed to just have a deeper well of patience. My stress and anxiety levels seemed to go down and I didn't feel so emotional.

The days I would forget to meditate until the end of the day I would notice that the day seemed a little harder and jumping back in the next morning I didn't seem as focused.

I know meditation can seem silly but the science on whether or not it is beneficial couldn't be clearer. I also know it can be intimidating and the idea of being confined to your own thoughts for even three minutes can seem overwhelming. However, there is no wrong way to meditate. Not even a mindfulness master sits without thoughts intruding into her practice. It's just about getting better at noticing and steering your mind back to the here and now. 

I also know that when you are busy or stressed sitting aside a small block of time can seem impossible but it's during those times that you need to the most!

Anybody already meditate and want to share their experience?