Have you ever tried to meditate and felt like you failed? I get it, I totally know the feeling.
When I was first told I should try meditation, I bought a couple books, read them, sat in stillness and had zero luck. Meditating is so hard! My mind was jumping around thinking about anything and everything. Oh shit I forgot to unload the washing machine…I wonder what I’ll order at dinner tomorrow?….Did I lock my car?….Wait, what was that sound? Should I open my eyes? Ahh I have an itch! Damn I’m not even breathing properly…And so it went on.
There was zero calmness or stillness. The “meditation” I was doing was useless.
Have you ever been to a yoga class and during shavasana, or end relaxation, the yoga instructor tells you to relax every muscle in your body, close your eyes and relax your mind? Sounds nice right? For a long time I would just pretend to do that…but again, my mind would just think about everything I had on my agenda, or about the fact that I just wanted to leave the class to pee and have dinner.
About a year and a half ago I started going to a new yoga studio and I met the most amazing yoga instructor who taught me that you don’t need to quiet your mind or be perfectly still in order to meditate. After a few classes with her I began to understand meditation a bit better and then I ended up signing up for the eight-week meditation course…and that is when I got hooked on meditation. Something I never thought I would be able to do (because my mind is on ALL the time).
One of the best things I learned from her is this: every time a thought comes into you mind, acknowledge it and then “shoo” it away, or pretend that there is an imaginary table next to you and place the thought on the table. If the thought comes back or another thought pops in (which I assure you will happen), repeat the process (even if that means repeating it 1000 times). If a thought pops in you mind every second and you end up going the whole session without having a second of silence in you mind, you’ve still had a successful meditative session. Why? Because you’re taking the time to acknowledge what you’re thinking about, which falls under the category of mindfulness. You might not feel successful or super relaxed the first time you do this, but if you practice this, less thoughts will pop in your mind and one day you might not have any thoughts at all (I’m not at this point yet…).
In the meditation course I learned so many types of meditative practices, such as meditating while watching a candle flicker, moving meditation, speaking meditation, etc. I plan on sharing all these types on The Omm Life, but today it’s all about meditation apps.
There are so many great apps out there where you can take 5, 10, 15 or even 40 minutes to take a lovely, guided meditation. They’re also super easy to use…just make sure you have a pair of headphones. A few of the best meditation apps out there are Calm, Headspace, and my absolute favourite: Stop, Breathe and Think. One of my very best friend’s actually recommended this app. It’s amazing…and it’s free! What I love about Stop, Breathe and Think is that it curates practices that pertain to how you’re feeling. Before you begin you have to identify how you are feeling, both physically and mentally, and then it will give you a few meditations to choose from.
Try it out. It might take you a few sessions to understand how you react to meditation, but it’s definitely a practice that will make you feel great once you get the hang of it. The great thing about guided meditations is that you don’t have to sit in silence. You can just listen to the speaker.
Pick a time that’s right for you and download this app! My favourite time to meditate is before bed. It helps me sleep better and rid any negative energy from the day.
Do you meditate? What’s your best tip?? Did you love it? Hate it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.