Meditation. Yep, I said it.Loud and proud! I know that word can be an instant turnoff for some as it somehow became associated with “hippies” and requires you to sit with your legs crossed, chanting “Ohm” and desperately attempting to clear your mind of all thoughts. Using mantras is one meditation technique, but just like there is more than one way exercise or more than one type of car to drive, there are endless options when it comes to meditation.
Before discussing all of the benefits of meditation let me start with the why, summarized in one word. Mindfulness. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines mindfulness as “….Complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” For me, this comes down to the ability to respond, rather than react, to any situation in a controlled manor. Here are some examples in your day-to-day life:
- Sitting or standing at your work station you realize your poor posture is causing back pain. So you adjust.
- A supervisor or client is upset and starts yelling. Rather than yelling back, you take a deep breath, listen, and wait for the situation to diffuse before responding.
- After a stressful day of work you skip the happy hour invite and decide to stick with your plan to get 30 minutes of exercise in.
- Arriving at work in the morning you see your favorite donuts on the counter. Knowing that you have a meeting or project you need to be mentally sharp for, you skip it to avoid the impending sugar crash.
The benefits of a regular meditation practice (increased emotional intelligence, creativity and focus, while reducing stress) can help you improve your wellbeing and reach your personal and professional goals. So how do you get started? Start slow by scheduling 5-minutes twice a week to sit and meditate. Consider first thing in the morning before you get distracted by the day’s events. It's ok if you feel like you're not 'successful' at quieting your mind at first. It. Is. Hard. And that's why so many people refer to it as their 'meditation practice'.
To make it even easier to get started, I’ve included links to three short guided meditations that I recorded with beginners in mind. All you need to do is hit play and these meditations will walk you through the whole process. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Interested in learning more about meditation? Check out the webinar below to get more tips from Coach Katie Jo.